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Mayoral candidate profiles for Maui

September 16, 2010
Lahaina News

Eleven candidates — Alan M. Arakawa, Sally D. Chow Hammond, Chris Hart, Marc H. Hodges, Sol P. Kaho‘ohalahala, Ori Kopelman, Peter A. Milbourn, Harold Miller, Jonathon A. Olson, Randy Piltz and incumbent Charmaine Tavares — are running for Maui County mayor.


To inform voters before Saturday’s Primary Election, candidates who responded to our questionnaire are featured in this week’s issue.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Alan Arakawa

Article Photos

 

Alan M. Arakawa, 58


OCCUPATION: Consultant


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Maui High School; attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Nonprofit Service — Mayor Arakawa Community Kokua Fund, Hui Malama Learning Center, Maui Economic Opportunity, Maui Mental Health Association; Government Boards and Commissions — Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Services, Citizens Advisory Council for Central Maui; Social organizations — Kiwanis Club of Kahului, Maui Bridge Club, Maui Chess Club, Gentleman’s Association, Masons, Maui Okinawa Kenjin Kai, Japanese Cultural Society of Maui


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Prior offices held include Maui County Council (1994-98 and 2000-02) and Mayor (Jan. 2, 2003 to Jan. 2, 2007)


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


People from all walks of life are suffering due to poor decisions made by the current administration. We need a mayor who is accessible, understands the issues and is able to hit the ground running from day one. We need a mayor who is in touch with the people, is involved in the community and has a firm grasp of how government operates.


My father always told me that when you see a problem, you need to do something to fix that problem, otherwise you’re part of the problem. Our local economy has not been supported, people are out of work and promises made have been broken.


Having served as mayor, I will use my experience to get us back on track. The lessons learned and experience gained during my term as mayor will allow us to move quickly, take corrective action and make our community strong again.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?



The economy and jobs are by far the two top priorities for Maui County. As mayor, I will expedite construction projects that are “shovel ready.” We will initiate a “stay” on sign enforcement until the county’s sign ordinance is revised and updated.


We will mandate that all departments assist in revitalization efforts, and work with the state legislature to introduce a bill that will allow Maui County-based businesses an opportunity to match the lowest bid on county contracts for the purchase of goods or services.  This purchasing preference for in-county firms will help our local businesses secure a larger share of county contracts and promote homegrown job creation.


In addition to the economy and jobs, we also will be focusing on water, sustainability and housing. We will resolve the Upcountry water problem through the development of new source and storage. We will launch a sustainable business development incentive program to incentivize businesses in key industries that commit to local hiring, family wage jobs and sustainable products and practices.


We will work closely with the construction industry to ensure we are building the homes that will meet the community’s needs. We will also hold regularly scheduled meetings with business and community organizations to receive feedback and suggestions on the county’s efforts.


 In addition, we will support our senior and youth programs that are crucial to the health and well-being of our community. These programs provide immediate as well as long-term positive effects on our entire community, and I am committed to supporting these programs.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


There are many steps the mayor can take to bolster our local economy and support small businesses. The first step would be to instill a business-friendly attitude from the top down within the administration and mandate that all departments assist and support revitalization efforts. We will no longer attack small businesses over petty issues, shutting them down and essentially destroying any opportunity to kick start our economy.


We will expedite construction projects that are “shovel ready” and get people back to work quickly. We will support our small businesses by initiating a “stay” on sign enforcement until the county’s sign ordinance has been revised and updated. We will support home-based businesses and work with County Council to finalize a workable home-based business ordinance.


We will work closely with the County Council to introduce and pass tax incentives for businesses that increase their staffing levels by 10 to 20 percent per year.  This will encourage our local businesses to start hiring again and put people back to work. 


We will create additional incentives that will attract more technology companies to be based in Maui County. We’ve talked about diversifying our economy, but now is the time to really attract these businesses on a larger scale. These businesses will bring greater job opportunities for our keiki and hopefully encourage many of our local families to return to Maui County.


We will support and attract events that will help reinvigorate our tourism industry and put people back to work. We will work to bring back many of the surf, windsurf, cultural and other events that brought millions of dollars of revenue into Maui County and employed thousands.


We will work with the state legislature to introduce a bill that will allow Maui County-based businesses an opportunity to match the lowest bid on county contracts for the purchase of goods or services. This purchasing preference for in-county firms will help our local businesses secure a larger share of county contracts and promote homegrown job creation.


We will launch a sustainable business development incentive program to incentivize businesses in key industries that commit to local hiring, family wage jobs, and sustainable products and practices.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


We must focus on healing our economy, stabilizing jobs and encouraging growth. We need to help create more jobs in the private sector and help people support themselves. 


It is our belief that if we are able to restart our economic engine, we will be able to stabilize the revenue coming in to the county. 


As mayor, our team will review the county’s budget and identify areas where we will be able to reduce spending. The first place I will cut costs will be in the Mayor’s Office. 


I intend to reduce the number of appointed staff and reduce the amount currently being spent on salaries. When in office, we spent a little less than $1,000,000 per year on salaries. The current administration is spending $2,500,000 per year on salaries. I find this to be unacceptable and will make immediate adjustments.


I firmly believe an example must be set at the top in order for us to achieve support from other departments.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


As mayor of Maui County from 2003 to 2007, it gave me great pleasure and satisfaction to work with members of our community to create so many of the solutions our community needed. With the help of our legislators and medical specialists, we were able to reinstate the lifesaving Helicopter Air Ambulance.


With our seniors’ assistance, we were able to complete the West Maui Senior Center in Lahaina and the Kaunoa Wellness Center. We were able to start the planning and construction of the South Maui Hale Mahaolu Senior Complex, which will house multiple services for the seniors of that area. We also acquired the Wailuku swimming pool.


With the help of our county employees, we streamlined our motor vehicle registration system, standardized our interdepartmental computer systems, and upgraded our fire, police and lifeguard departments’ equipment and ability to respond to emergencies.


We started the Maui Bus System, which now services a large part of the island. We wrote and received grants for the many buses that were needed and planned the initial route.


We purchased 100 acres in the Ukumehame area, and this will assure that it will remain available for public use into perpetuity. 


With the help of our community, we were able to install the Nahiku Community kitchen and to repair the Keanae Flume to help the taro growers. 


I would like to continue to work to create more jobs in technology and the medical field.


We need to continue the development of affordable housing. We need to assist small businesses, who in turn, will help to create more jobs. We need to continue to acquire more areas for parks. 


We need to work on finding solutions for making water available for everyone. I have a plan that I started in my last term and I would like to continue working on that plan.


In these tough economic times, Maui County needs a leader who knows how to put a budget together immediately — the Fiscal Year 201-12 budget will be due in early 2011 — and knows how each department and division works independently and collectively.


Maui County needs a mayor who knows how to work with our state legislators, state departments and the federal departments.


The mayor of Maui County needs to have the ability to make good decisions and exhibit common sense. The mayor needs to know when a decision is not working and make adjustments.


Most of all, the mayor of Maui County needs to understand that government exists to help its community have the highest quality of life, and not to keep growing the bureaucracy at the expense of the community.  


My track record shows that I am very committed to all of the above.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Chris Hart





Chris Hart, 69


OCCUPATION: Landscape Architect/Land Planner   


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Bachelor of Landscape Architecture, Syracuse University School of Environmental Science and Forestry


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Over the past 40 years on Maui, I have been a volunteer, member or board of director of the following organizations: Rotary Club of Maui, Maui Academy of Performing Arts, Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Teen Challenge Substance Abuse Treatment Program, Maui High School PTSA, N-PAC Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition of Maui County, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Maui Historical Society and Maui youth soccer coach.


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Although this is my first attempt at elected public office, I worked for 20 years in Maui County government, including service as the Director of Planning and Director of Housing and Human Concerns. During this time, I worked closely with elected officials in the State Legislature and Maui County Council and representatives of the Governor’s Office and state agencies. In 1991, I started my own business as a landscape architect and land planning consultant, and over the past 19 years have continued to work with members of the County Council and various appointed boards and commissions, including the Planning Commissions for Maui, Molokai and Lanai; County Urban Design Review Board; Hana Advisory Committee to the Maui Planning Commission; Maui Redevelopment Agency; and Cultural Resources Commission. In addition, through my community volunteer service, I have worked with elected officials on matters related to program funding.


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


As a resident of Maui for over 40 years and active participant in community affairs, I believe that Maui County is at a crossroads that we are drifting aimlessly. Many small businesses are just getting by. County permit processing takes way too long and is costly. Uncertainties in water supply will affect the production of future affordable housing and agriculture. With my background and experience in county government, private business and community organizations, I would like to help Maui County move forward and remain the best place to live.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


Improving the economy, making county government more efficient and customer-friendly, and providing for needed public services (e.g. transportation for seniors, youth and the disabled) and needed public infrastructure (e.g. water system improvements).


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


To begin with, the next mayor needs to demonstrate that Maui County is a good place to do business. Actions include expediting building permits for small residential and commercial projects, undertaking needed water system improvements to meet future needs, fair and equitable taxation of commercial real property, regular meetings with business leaders to discuss issues and needed county policy changes, and working in partnership with the Maui Economic Development Board, small business representatives and others to develop a strategy to diversify the economy over the long term.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


If private business can cut costs and improve services to customers, so can county government. Some of the brightest and most conscientious people I know work in county government. County employees must be part of the solution in making government “do more with less.” I will set the example by cutting the staff in the Mayor’s Office and ask each department to review its operations in consideration of the following: (a) Are there duplication of services with nonprofit organizations? (b) Is it more feasible and efficient to contract out the service performed by the department? My preference is to have nonprofit organizations handle social services as a more cost-effective alternative. Contracting out of services (e.g. engineering plans; special studies and plans; project management) should also be considered as a viable option.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


Maui County is at a crossroads. We are currently in the process of updating 20-year plans for Maui Island and various community districts. These long range plans will be adopted into law and will guide land use decision-making over the next 20 years. With the loss of large-scale plantation agriculture over the past 15 years, Maui Island is facing substantial pressure to develop agricultural lands for profit. More than ever, it is important to ensure that the Maui Island Plan provides for ‘balanced” future growth and protection of the natural environment and prime agricultural lands, in order to keep Maui the special place it is. As a planner and with my experience in county government, business and community service, I feel uniquely qualified to address this challenge.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Marc Hodges





Marc Hodges, 42


OCCUPATION:
Former professional and published biologist and Hawaii state natural resource manager. Former Maui police patrol and SWAT officer. Now, a small businessman: real estate appraisal and licensed bed and breakfast operations.


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: B.S. (Honors) in Wildlife Biology with emphasis on genetics


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Well-known advocate for taxpayer rights, civil rights and natural resources protection. Cofounder and co-director of the Hawaii Fair Lending Coalition (umbrella organization of Native Hawaiian and Filipino community groups); Conservation Chair of the Sierra Club Maui; Life Member of the National Rifle Association


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Candidate for Maui Mayor in 1994. High-level program manager in Hawaii State Government. Experienced in top-level Hawaii State policy development and administrative rules promulgation. Revolutionized operations, saved taxpayers $10 million in one year and greatly improved public service and employee morale by implementing modern team and information management strategy at Maui Police Department.


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


Maui is facing an economic crisis. We are still losing businesses, jobs and homes. The overall economic outlook is weak. Dramatic increases in federal income taxes are beginning in January, further depressing the Mainland economy and, as a result, our local economy.


 We need new leadership that understands these challenges and can lead us in a proactive strategy to help Maui County thrive. We need new blood. I am that leadership. I am the new blood that we need.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


 Priority number one is the economy and jobs. Priority number two is the economy and jobs. Priority number three is the economy and jobs.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


Maui County government cannot fix the economy. Only the citizens can do that. But, Maui County government can facilitate this economic recovery. Fully 85 percent of new American jobs are created by small business, and much the same goes for Maui. Maui County can boost jobs, small business and all other economic growth by streamlining its operations, reducing its overall operating costs and changing its zoning enforcement operation from activity-based to impact-based.


As an example of streamlining, in my administration building permits for projects under $150,000 will be issued in ten days.


Further, I will cut overall operating costs by 18 percent.


Home-based business is one of the keys to the future. It fosters entrepreneurship, cuts commuting, saves energy and boosts local hiring. Currently, the county is struggling to develop and define a laundry list of business activities that could be allowed in the home and it relies on complaint-based enforcement. This is cumbersome, unfair, makes businesses into hostages of the county, pits neighbors against each other, creates corruption and is ineffective.


I suggest flipping this approach around. The county should rely on proactive, randomized and transparent enforcement. Further, the county should let all types of home-based businesses operate unless they cause certain, distinct and measurable negative impacts to the neighborhood. This strategy is cheaper, easier and more effective for the county and the neighbors to enforce. It focuses regulation on the real concern (the impact on the neighborhood). And, it turns small business loose so innovation and job growth can begin. Plus, it’s something the mayor can do without any change in the county ordinances and without any action by the council. And it can happen right now. All it takes is visionary leadership.


Some may say this kind of change is impossible. But that’s just what they said before I used good management and modern technology to empower employees and revolutionize operations at Maui County’s biggest department, the Police Department. They said it was impossible, but me and my team did it in one year. And that was while I was a rookie cop. Just imagine what I can do for you as your mayor.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


I’ve already proved that I can do exactly that. See www.hodgesforprogress.com and my response above and below for more information.


This year, our current mayor resorted to program cuts, cutting positions and furloughs to achieve only $15 million in savings. By way of comparison, ten years ago I used better management and new technology to save Maui taxpayers $10 million. And that was as a rookie Maui cop. Just think what I can do for you as mayor.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


I’m the only mayoral candidate with the proven ability to revolutionize major Maui County government operations while saving the taxpayer millions, boosting employee morale and greatly enhancing public service.


I’m also the only mayoral candidate with a specific, proven and workable plan to streamline Maui County operations, significantly boost small business, diversify the economy, produce jobs, increase sustainability and cut taxes. 


Each of the other candidates has part of the solution and no real way to achieve that solution. I’m the only candidate with the overall vision and the proven ability to get it done.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Sol Kaho‘ohalahala





Sol P. Kaho‘ohalahala, 59


OCCUPATION: Maui County Councilmember for Lanai


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Lanai Elementary School & Lanai High School, Kamehameha Schools (graduated 1969), University of Puget Sound (1969-72), University of Hawaii Maui College (1984-89)


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: 1975 — Alu Like Advisory Board Member; 1976 — Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana (Lanai Organizer); 1978 — Hulopo‘e-Manele Marine Conservation District Founder; 1982 —  Kaho‘olawe Citizens Advisory Committee Member; 1983 — Lanai High & Elementary School PTA (president for three years); 1984 — Hui Malama Pono O Lanai-Preservation Society Organizer and Founding Member; 1987 — Voyage of Rediscovery-Hokulea Crew Member; 1990 — Maui-Lanai Burial Council Member; 1992 Lanai Citizens Advisory Committee Member; 1992 — Maui County Cultural Resources Commission Member; 1993 — Hawaiian Sovereignty Commission (appointed by Gov. John Waihe‘e, elected chair for three years); 1995 — Historic Hawaii Foundation Board of Trustee; 1995 — Maui Visitors Bureau Executive Board Member; 1995 — Ke Ala Hoku Youth Planner, Navigator; 1996 — Maui Economic Development Board Member; 1997 Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program Board Member; 1998 — Maui Volunteer Center Member; 2000 — Hawaiian Community Assets Board Member; 2001 — Bank Aloha Organizing Board; 2001 —  Community Performing Arts Center Organizing Chair; 2003 — Maui Economic Opportunity Affordable Housing Working Group; 2003 Ka ‘Ohana o Kalaupapa Organizing Board; 2005-08 — Board Member for Friends of Moku‘ula; 2005 to present — Board Member for Ka ‘Ohana ‘O Kalaupapa; 2005-08  —  Board Member for Hospice Maui.


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Six years on the Maui County Council (three terms); four years at the State Legislature (two terms); and three years as executive director of the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC), a state administrative office


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


For the past 35 years, I have been involved in my Lanai community and the greater community of Maui Nui. From a young age, I understood that when someone becomes involved in their community, when they learn how to effectively participate in the democratic process, it becomes possible to create positive change. I have always cared about what is going on around me, and rather than simply stand by and be angry or frustrated, I decided to get involved. That involvement eventually led to public service. I have contemplated running for mayor for several years and I feel that now is the time to offer my vision to the voters of Maui County.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


We must get people back to work, and we need to do so by expanding the kinds of opportunities that are available to us. For the past few decades, we have been focused on tourism; this focus spun off a real estate and development boom. When the global economy slowed, those three industries were hit hard. We have suffered from a lack of economic diversity.


A recent U.H. study revealed that Hawaii spends more than $6 billion annually on food, and 85 to 90 percent of those dollars leave our state to support farmers and ranchers in other states. Our administration would focus on developing local agriculture so that we can capture a percentage of this economic activity. Increasing food production by even a modest percentage would translate into millions of dollars of economic activity, as well as business and job development, tax revenues and food security. And growth in this area should remain relatively stable, compared to other sectors of the economy.


Water and wastewater infrastructure has been a serious issue for several years, so this area would be a major focus of our administration. We would make more water available through reuse, reclamation, catchments, storage and source development. I believe the county should own all water in order to ensure equitable allocation and distribution.


We would also focus on streamlining government and addressing the waste, redundancy and dysfunction that is inherent in our current administrative system. Many of our county processes are archaic — a situation that is frustrating to both our county workers and the residents we are supposed to serve. Our permitting process is needlessly slow and is in need of overhaul.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


Along with ramping up our local food production, we should also look toward growing energy crops in a sustainable manner. And besides energy crops, there are possibilities for developing more wind, solar and ocean renewable energy systems. All of these activities will create new businesses and new jobs. Our administration would streamline the permitting processes and partner with various agencies to assist startups in these areas. I believe small business is the backbone of our communities, and we want to foster their growth. In general, we need to become more savvy on the administrative level and listen to business to determine how we can form mutually beneficial relationships.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


During this past council term, our office has discovered how this and previous administrations have neglected to collect on millions of dollars of debt that are owed to the county. This uncollected debt is comprised of money owed from “conditions of development” or a repayment of county resources used to create roads, sidewalks and gutter systems for new developments. Due to neglect and disorganization at a departmental level, this debt has not been collected, and expenses have been passed on to taxpayers.


This is merely one example of government inefficiency; I am concerned that there may be more. We can improve services to taxpayers by reorganizing county operations at a departmental level and helping our county workers do their jobs more efficiently.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOSE YOU?


As a young man growing up on Lanai, it never occurred to me that one day I would become involved in politics. I became active in community organizations out of a desire to voice concerns about what was going on around me. That involvement ultimately led to me running for the Lanai seat on the Maui County Council. After two terms on the council, I then ran successfully for a seat in the state legislature. By the end of this year, I will have completed 13 years in public service and government administration. I can honestly say that I understand how government works and how to best utilize governmental processes.


Some people have suggested that a business background is suitable for government. I respectfully disagree; business and government are entirely different systems. In business, owners or managers are free to make decisions; in government, we have elected representatives and a unionized workforce. This system requires a vastly different set of skills. Nonetheless, I believe government can and should learn from business by creating greater efficiency and improved customer service.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Ori Kopelman





Ori Kopelman, 48


OCCUPATION: Project Management Consultant


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering with honors from Stanford University.


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT:
Chair of Kula Community polling place for several elections; Rotary Club of Maui since 1998; chair of Keiki Zoo for a year


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Never run or held a political office. Member of the last two of Governor Linda Lingle’s campaigns


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


To lead the creation of “Mauitopia,” an ideal society or real paradise sheparded by an efficient and effective county government. In “Mauitopia,” everyone would do what they love for work, crime would no longer exist, we’d use renewable energy, become sustainable and all help each other out.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


First, to get the economy rolling again, and second to implement short- and long-term solutions for the development of water supply and wastewater disposal.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


Encourage individuals to do what they love for work and limit the amount of government regulation. A good example would be allowing TVRs a reasonable timeframe for compliance with county codes.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


Allow workers to do what they love and are qualified to do for work.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


Because of my proven ability to organize people and projects to get results in half the time (please see www.qrpd.com for testimonials).

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Peter Milbourn





Peter Milbourn, 59



OCCUPATION: Contractor


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: American River College


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Taught self-defense to Maui Police Department with Shinichi Suzuki Sensei at Wailuku Aikido Dojo.


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


I’ve lived on Maui for almost 40 years. In that time, the people running things have not properly taken care of our infrastructure, have allowed our reefs to die, and pretty much sold out our beautiful islands. I’m afraid this will continue if we allow another politician with special interests and shortsightedness four more years in this very important position. My passion is for local lifestyle and the ocean. I will fight to preserve the way of life that I experienced when I got here in the early 1970s. I will try to bring together that old lifestyle and beauty with the smart, green ideas of the future.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


I think it’s very important to try to save all the natural beauty that makes Maui the special place it is, by carefully weeding out bad development ideas and working toward a self-sustainable, green future.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


A lot of baby steps can be taken right away — for example, being friendly to Lahaina Halloween and helping to bring back vacation rentals and B&Bs. The county government itself needs to be more user-friendly, to speed up the permit process and work closer with the private sector to help nurture local businesses.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?    


I believe that I can audit all the departments in the county, find some that don’t have enough money and some that have too much money, and work to adjust it appropriately.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


By voting for me, you are voting against politicians, unions, developers and special interests, and sending a strong message to future leaders of Maui County that you will not stand for the same old type of leadership that put big box stores in our entryway from the airport, allowed our reefs to die, is unfriendly to home businesses and small business, and so on. I will have an open door policy and I will work with the greatest resource we have — the people of Maui County. Thank you.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Harold Miller





WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


To help people by having the county build affordable homes, as was done in the past. Also make permitting faster and have more services done online.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


Develop water resources and build affordable housing.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


By investing in building homes in West Maui by Kapalua Airport on Maui Land & Pine Lands. Also by buying foreclosed homes and doing rehab work to put people back to work.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


By taking credit cards to make payments for county services.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


Because I will be working for the people. I have not taken any money from big business or special interest groups. My website is www.hapmilller.com.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Jonathon Olson





Jonathon A. Olson, 49



OCCUPATION: Certified Public Accountant and Real Estate Broker with Windermere Valley Isle Properties


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Bachelor of Science in Business in Accounting from Indiana University, Hawaii Institute of Real Estate, Maui Community College and VITEC


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Previously served on boards of non-profits (see www.jonathonolson.com for list)


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Served as Chief Financial Officer at Maui Memorial Hospital


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


I can make positive changes with the great workers at the County of Maui. I believe my diversified background as a Certified Public Accountant and a realtor broker, my time working for the State of Hawaii as chief financial officer of Maui Memorial Medical Center and my 24 years living on the different islands give me the experience to deal with the issues that the County of Maui will face. I care, and I am a problem solver and a leader. Together, we will assist the County of Maui to be the best place on Earth. We need to do this together. Aloha and God bless!


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


The islands of the County of Maui are my top priority, as the islands are what make us the BEST place in the world. The people and the businesses of the County of Maui are my second priority. They are the caretakers for these islands, and the beauty behind these islands, who are responsible to protect and preserve this special place. The tourists and investors are the ones that help our economy thrive and make it so we can all live here. Focusing on these items will help everything else fall into place. We need to address the biggest issue that is crippling our islands, and that is the foreclosure/financial crisis that is destroying our communities and families!!!


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


The mayor can bolster the economy by bringing in fresh ideas and facilitating the cooperation of all parties. The tourists are what will bolster our economy and support all our businesses, and the mayor needs to support this industry the most. Education and training in this ever-changing world will also give us the best opportunities and the ability to live and work in this world. We need to take care of both the people and businesses of the County of Maui. I think we need to implement a foreclosure tax, so that the banks are motivated to work out solutions with our families to stay in their homes. Whether elected or not, I will work with large businesses to implement a plan so that everyone on Maui will have an iPad in four years. That by doing so, our children will be more excited to learn and be educated. Our families will become closer and more efficient with their time. Our businesses will thrive. The County of Maui will be better prepared to live and adapt to the ever changing world.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


We all live and work in these islands together. We all need to evaluate and improve the use of our resources and people. Together with technology, we can become more efficient and better use our financial resources. As a Certified Public Accountant who used to audit the County of Maui, the Department of Water Supply and the Single Audit Programs of the county, I am trained to find problem areas and develop solutions. As chief financial officer of Maui Memorial, the employees made me look like a star and assisted me in using limited resources to make positive changes at the hospital. I thank them every day, and I know the County of Maui employees are just as capable and willing to assist me as mayor. I know they all love the County of Maui, the place we live.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


I will facilitate the solutions for the County of Maui by its people. I want your VOTE, not your money. Together, all of us can Save the Aloha. I know the other candidates will do their BEST job. I promise to do a better job than their best job.


I will work with Castle & Cooke to better opportunities on Lanai. I will work with Guocco, which owns Molokai Properties, to better opportunities on Molokai. I will bring Target to Maui. I will work with the state to bring an educational program/facility to U.H. Maui/Maui Memorial to offer more programs to our people. We need to offer more opportunities for education to our people. Bring U.H. sports to the County of Maui. Revitalize the North Shore of Maui in Kahului.


In the future, for the state, I will work on bringing the Summer Olympics to the Islands of Hawaii to revitalize our infrastructure and communities. All this, and maintain the beauty of the islands without overdeveloping them.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Randy Piltz





Randy Piltz, 71


OCCUPATION: Retired Electrical Contractor running a business on Maui for 30 years.


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Kamehameha Schools and University of Dayton, Ohio


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Past President of the Maui Contractors Association; served on the boards for Saint Anthony’s and Maui Youth and Family Services.


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Former chairman of Maui Planning Commission and State Land Use Commission, both appointed positions. I have not previously served in elected office.


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


I can bring practical business experience and a can-do attitude to public service. I believe teamwork starts at the top.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


Water and jobs/economy — removing the obstacles to doing business on Maui. Better communication between the mayor and the council, the mayor and the public and the mayor and the public workers.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


The mayor can improve the permit process, treat the business community with respect, and review and help revise outdated laws that make it hard to do business here. The mayor can be conscious that time and delay in dealing with the county hurt our economy. The mayor can work to speed up the process and lower the costs.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS... YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


The county can make better use of the people, equipment and skills it already has. It can spend its resources more wisely. It can cross train, remove barriers between departments and emphasize core services. It can stress that public employees are there to help the community and create a workplace environment that is friendly and efficient. It can finish the jobs already started. It can talk less and do more.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


I am a practical person with deep roots in this community. I believe that my style of teamwork and leadership will benefit all Maui Nui.

 

Mayoral candidate profile: Charmaine Tavares





Charmaine Tavares


OCCUPATION: Mayor, County of Maui


EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Fifth-Year Professional Diploma in Education from the University of Hawaii-Manoa.


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: My 40 years of public service include being a teacher, counselor, athletic director and program director for MCC’s Upward Bound program. I was director of the county Department of Parks and Recreation and elected five times to the Maui County Council.


Prior to being mayor, I served on the boards of various nonprofit organizations and volunteered for many events. As mayor, I continue to be engaged in community affairs; however, because of a potential conflict of interest, I do not belong to any nonprofit organization at the present time.


POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Elected in 2006 as Mayor of Maui County (2007-10); ten-year member of the Maui County Council-Upcountry Seat (1997-2006)


WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?


As I look at the state of the economy and the complexity of the issues facing the county, I believe it will take the right combination of skills, experience and leadership to maintain the momentum we have built and to stay on the road to recovery. I have demonstrated the ability to bring people from all walks of like together and bring in outside resources to support and expand our opportunities. 


Now is not the time to go backwards or start over. I am optimistic about our future and committed to keeping our county moving forward.


WHAT ARE THE TOP PRIORITIES OF MAUI COUNTY?


The most important issue that I have been dealing with, and will continue to do so, is economic recovery. I am committed to maintaining the momentum we have built and staying on the road to recovery.


My plan is to continue to: 1) support buying local, small business development, and the visitor industry; 2) boost infrastructure development; 3) support agriculture through water and land use policies; 4) develop water resources; 5) continue to change outdated laws that impact permitting; and 6) support investment in renewable energy technologies that reduce the outflow of dollars for fossil fuels.


WHAT CAN THE NEXT MAYOR DO TO BOLSTER THE ECONOMY AND SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESSES?


Because of the combined efforts of local government, the private sector and our community, Maui County is recovering faster than any other county in the state.


I am committed to maintaining the momentum we have built and staying on the road to recovery.


My plan is to continue to support small business development, the visitor industry, and buying local; boost infrastructure development; support agriculture through water and land use policies; develop water resources; continue to change outdated laws that impact permitting; and support investment in renewable energy technologies.


GIVEN BUDGET CONCERNS, HOW CAN THE COUNTY BECOME MORE EFFICIENT AND CUT COSTS, YET IMPROVE SERVICES TO TAXPAYERS?


We began reducing county expenditures in mid-2008 and continue to this day. We established a Fiscal Implementation Team (FIT) that works with all departments on finding ways to do more with less.


My administration’s priority has been to seek federal funding to supplement county funds and enable more projects to be funded. Our focus on obtaining federal support has resulted in receiving more outside grants awarded to the County of Maui since 2007 than in the previous eight years.


We established a new position to create more effective planning and coordination of the multitude of Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) the county has. The county CIP Program coordinator is able to support development and implementation of each department’s six-year CIP plan with expertise and a systematic approach.


WHY SHOULD VOTERS CHOOSE YOU?


I believe that our community wants to continue moving forward. Our successes are significant, even while facing some of the most difficult economic conditions ever faced. Both the public and private sector have worked hard and helped each other during these challenging times, and we are poised for economic recovery because of what we have done together.

 
 

 

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