Last (Monday) evening, August 26 at 6 pm at Kaunoa Senior Center in Spreckelsville representatives of about seven Maui Community Associations (CA’s) assembled once again under the organization and moderation of Dick Mayer to hear from two County legislators, freshwoman and Vice Chair Keani Rawlings-Fernandez followed by returning member Mike Molina. As a bonus for those attending, Council Chair Kelly King arrived during the meeting coming from another event.
Since its inception in 2012, and meeting about eleven times per year KCA (makai) – dat’s us – has had a rep at every meeting, which is the exception to the rule. On a positive note this year reps from Wailuku CA have been attending regularly, but now Maalaea has become an irregular participant.
Keani began by addressing the annual budget process and the modifications she offered as that committee chair this past Spring. She mentioned the temporary investigative group (TIG) that was established by her committee to address future committee process. They are expected to present their findings to the Council next month, and possibly pass it out before the end of the year. She also addressed the committee’s examination of tiered rates for real estate, where value categories would determine the land owner’s rate.
Because of some attendees’ questions, the topic of (mostly “affordable”) housing was brought forth for the vice chair, which brought Mike & Kelly into the discussion. Kelly made the point that we need to distinguish between affordable (below 80% average medium income) and “work-force” (above 80% AMI), as housing is THE major County concern.
About half way, Mike mentioned to Dick he had not had an opportunity to make his presentation regarding his committee, Governance, Ethics and Transparency (GET). Among other things, it presents individuals offered by the Mayor for all the various boards and commissions for an up or down vote (but no choice or selections) by the committee and then the full council; additionally, all matters of litigation, proposed county charter amendments, and audits. While the major action that is tentatively scheduled for 9/3/19 at 9 AM concerns the County’s final appeal at the U S Supreme Court (possibly this November) regarding the Lahaina injection wells and the Federal Clean Water Act and is probably the single issue of most community concern for this committee, he only mentioned his willingness to address it again, as previously the committee deadlocked 4-4, with Alice Lee excused. We recall he voted to take it to the court, while Kelly and Keani voiced strongly for settlement.
Some of the attendees seemed confused about the district advisory committee situation. The confusion mostly stemmed from Mike’s action to send the Paia one to the County Planning Commission for input, while Kelly already has the South Maui advisory committee meeting provisionally for several months and sees no reason to seek the commission’s input, as we heard Commission Chair Carnicelli’s comments at one of the provisional meetings. Kelly proposes going directly to a Council-generated ordinance this year to formalize the establishment of advisory committees in districts that want them.
The next two meetings are set for Sept 30 and Oct 28, the last Monday of each month.