Was this a record? Have so many volunteer KCA board members ever submitted testimony to the County Council? Not that we recall, and oh yeah, we were not alone. On Thursday evening, the nine County Council members who compose their Budget & Finance Committee were first bestowed with lei by KCA at the Community Center on Lipoa at 6:00 PM for the first of their district meetings. Then they began to accept input for the FY 2019 County budget.
Going in we were distressed to see once again the Mayor’s budget offered a disproportionately small (like manini) amount of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) funds for South Maui, even though we are a huge revenue generator. As an indicator of the disparity, Kihei-Makena gets less than 7% of the total while central gets almost 48%! So our infrastructure, parks and many other concerns remain under- or just plain unfunded.
So what are we asking for (again… and again)? Yes: build the absent segments of the North-South Collector Road (NSCR) – how many times do we design and redesign; SIDEWALKS – same situation with segments & no continuity both on South Kihei road (SKR) and Ohukai Rd. We keep hearing how safety is a prime concern; really? Get pedestrians out of the roadway.
How about our parks? All these revenue-generating visitors who stay in South Maui use these parks. Give us back some of that revenue for upkeep. We ask for simple shade structures at park playgrounds so keiki can SAFELY use the facilities.
Another issue we addressed was smart building and spending; we used the Kulanihakoi River gulch crossing as prime example. Why does the county propose a more expensive, more complex procedure with a less satisfying outcome? SEE:https://gokihei.org/news/kiheis-proposed-bridge-over-troubled-waters-on-south-kihei-road.
From the community wide input, we believe the most frequent request heard across the board was STOP funding the Maui Visitor Board annually, now over $4M each year (we already have enough visitors) and devote that money to affordable housing, infrastructure and numerous other needs of the residents. Why does our government continue this imbalance.?
Commencing testimony, a number of keiki spoke up for MEO programs, and several adults called for affordable housing assistance and other concerns.
If you have concerns you still have plenty of ways to address this committee in person at other evening meetings in different parts of the island as well as day-time meetings in Council Chambers through April. You can also submit written testimony at email@example.com.
More information is available at the Council Website http://mauicounty.us/.