COUNCIL VOTES APPROVAL, 6-2
KCA wishes to express our appreciation to the six (of nine) members for voting in favor of the proposed resolution requesting the Public Works Department (DPW) to pause in their continuing effort to proceed with this project as defined by the DPW.
This morning five directors were at Council chambers, all testifying in a coordinated team support of the resolution, asking for an immediate decision to stop and think before proceeding with this project. Without such a decision, seemingly construction bids would be requested by the County, even with a prior need to purchase some land before the project could proceed, according to Director David Goode’s comment in a Thursday Maui News article.
The Council deliberations on all agendized matters was delayed until 1:30 PM due to the festivities of three ceremonial resolutions for the first hour, and then public testimony until noon. With about ten guys testifying on this item total, all community members in favor, the only testifier against was (surprise?) DPW director David Goode.
With Stacy stepping away from her seat just before the vote, and thus eight of nine voting, why would Yuki Lei and Chair Mike White vote against the community expressed requests? One might conclude for White it was partially because he was not listening to to the testimony and seemingly did nor read the resolution. We say this for a few reasons. The opening segment of KCA testimony expressed and repeated that KCA has been actively participating in in the process for the past five years; that we were NOT coming in at the last minute; we furnished a series of documents verifying this; continuing testimony, supplemented with photos, offered a timeline of action since 2013; and the verbiage in the actual resolution confirmed all of this. In spite of all of this, in discussion, White expressed that it was unfortunate that the Community did not get involved before today! Maybe it IS time for Mike to retire from the Council.
Beyond KCA, concerns expressed by the Hawaiian Community, led by Vernon Kulanikau for the Kula Makai Moku, voiced cultural issues with the department’s proposed plan.
See a professional report of the meeting in Saturday’s Maui News.
It is our understanding that the matter will next be addressed at the Council;s IEM Committee meeting on May 14 at 1:30 PM in these same chambers.
Last month we offered a perspective on this situation SEE: https://gokihei.org/news/kiheis-proposed-bridge-over-troubled-waters-on-south-kihei-road. Still very much worth a read.