LAHAINA - Why should voters attend the West Maui Taxpayers Association's Candidates' Night 2014? "This is an incredible opportunity to meet face-to-face with those who will be directing our government in the state and county and to ask them directly what you want to ask," replied Joe Pluta of WMTA.
The event is set for Friday, Oct. 24, at Lahaina Civic Center beginning at 5 p.m. with registration and dinner service by local businesses and restaurants. All are welcome to attend.
The WMTA Candidates' Night is the biggest forum of its kind in West Maui. WMTA has been staging the event for over 30 years.
The tradition is to invite all federal, state and county candidates appearing on the West Maui ballot to give area voters an opportunity see the candidates up close and personal while building awareness of West Maui issues.
For races with both candidates attending, there will be an opportunity for each candidate to give an introductory statement followed by a question or two presented in a debate format. If only one candidate is present, or the office is not contested, the candidates will have an opportunity to introduce themselves to the voters with a short statement.
Candidates that have confirmed their participation in the WMTA event at press time include gubernatorial candidates James "Duke" Aiona (R) and Mufi Hannemann (I); Sixth District Sen. Roz Baker (D) and challengers Jared P. DuBois (R) and Bronson Kekahuna Kaahui (L); Tenth District Rep. Angus McKelvey (D); Mayor Alan Arakawa and challenger Tamara Paltin; congressional candidates Michael Kokoski (L) and Joe Kent (L); and the following County Council incumbents and challengers: West Maui - Ka'ala Buenconsejo and Councilwoman Elle Cochran; East Maui - Councilman Bob Carroll and Nick Nikhilananda; Wailuku-Waihee-Waikapu - Joseph G. Blackburn II and Councilman Michael Victorino; South Maui - Councilman Don Couch and John M. Fitzpatrick; Makawao-Haiku-Paia - Mike Molina; Upcountry - Councilwoman Gladys Coelho Baisa; Kahului - Councilman Don. S. Guzman.
According to WMTA, "West Maui is a unique and vibrant community that provides employment opportunities and generates significant tax revenues for all levels of government. WMTA is also unique in that our mission is to promote efficient use of the taxes generated locally to invest in the infrastructure, services and amenities that help ensure that West Maui remains one of the best places to live, work and visit in the world."
The event will be broadcast live on Akaku: Maui Community Television and recorded for re-broadcast. For information, visit the WMTA website at www.WestMaui.org.