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Clute wants to put her experience to work on the County Council

By Staff | Aug 19, 2010


LAHAINA — Dr. Eve Clute wants to put her knowledge and experience to work for the people of Maui County.

The 35-year West Side resident is running for the West Maui seat on the County Council.

“I represent the positive values that many people in Maui County share. As a former County Council executive assistant, I learned the inner workings of the council,” she explained.

“As a doctor of public health and college professor in environmental sciences, I teach evidence-based practices to assess, plan, implement and evaluate. We identify stakeholders for all aspects of programs, policies and interventions, as does the members of the County Council.”

Clute, 60, said the county budget and infrastructure are key concerns in the 2010 elections.

She said Maui County must have a balanced budget that both the mayor and council members can work with effectively.

“I would balance the budget by being more efficient with the money that we have. The budget needs to be looked at item-by-item, which I have done,” Clute noted.

“Save money by consolidating programs that can share office space and equipment and utilize otherwise wasted county office space, like the Lahaina Comprehensive Center; float bonds where possible.”

Clute feels Maui County needs improved infrastructure. As community plans are finalized, the county must factor in funds for feasibility studies, environmental reports and other predevelopment expenses in order to access federal or state construction financing for infrastructure projects, she said.

“We must carefully develop community facilities’ financing approaches to develop infrastructure and save the county money,” she added.  

Clute believes the county should capitalize on federal programs to support businesses and create jobs. They include the Federal Small Business Jobs Act enacted on June 29, 2010, to help small businesses access capital, stimulate investment in small businesses and promote entrepreneurship, and the $30 billion Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF) to provide capital to small community banks to increase lending to small businesses.

“Maui Economic Opportunity Work Force  Development and the Hawaii Small Business Development Center, among other Maui County agencies and businesses, can access this money for business development,” Clute explained.

“With the economy improving and more tourists visiting the islands, starting a business and improving an existing business can be funded through the SBLF. With more local businesses comes more local spending, which will bring more tax dollars to Maui County.”

Clute thinks the county can improve services in West Maui and create job opportunities through various initiatives, including increasing recycling operations.

“When I was on the Mayor’s Solid Waste Committee, we reviewed the three-bin system for garbage pickup — bin one for household garbage, bin two for green waste for composting and bin three for recyclables. With limited recycling in West Maui, the placement of the three-bin system would separate trash and keep reusable materials out of the landfill,” she explained.

She also supports expanding the Maui Bus service, so buses can run from West to Central Maui every 30 minutes, and adding bus shelters and benches made from recycled plastic.   

She encourages residents to start home-based businesses with startup money from the Federal Small Business Jobs Act, teach online for accredited colleges with a master’s or doctorate degree and take the Substitute Teachers’ Course to be able to substitute teach in Maui public schools.

“I support home- and community-based services for senior citizens, which is now made possible  possible by linking Medicaid and Medicaid waiver funds. Maui’s health and human service agencies can provide at-home care to those aged 55-plus under this new waiver system,” she explained.

Clute earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Buffalo State University in 1970, Master’s Degree in Education from San Francisco State University in 1973, Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1995, Associate in Arts Degree in Administration of Justice at University of Hawaii Maui College in 1992, Doctorate Degree in Public Health from U.H. Manoa in 2001, Substitute Teacher Certification in 2009 and Hawaii Department of Education Teacher Certification in 2010.

She also completed Healthy Heart Training at Maui Memorial Medical Center in 2007, Nurse Leadership in Geriatrics instruction at University of Hawaii in 2006 and grant writing certification at University of Hawaii Maui College in 2004.

In 1996, she assisted in obtaining a $2 million federal grant for study and removal of nuisance algae in West Maui. The following year, Clute wrote, obtained and implemented a county grant for uses of nuisance algae in Maui. Algae was dried, packaged and sold as fertilizer.

In 2005, Clute assisted in securing and administering state and county grant — $300,000 each — to cover the cost of operating the Lahaina Urgent Care Center from 2006 to ’08.

Her track record in the community includes serving with the Mayor’s Committee on Solid Waste (2008-09); Hawaii Department of Health Algae Task Force (1994-95); Board of Massage Therapy, Oahu (1982-86, chair in 1987); West Maui Health Alliance (board member 2006-10); Earth Trust (1985-89); Coral Cross-Flu Pandemic Preparation Team, Hawaii Department of Health (2009); Psychological First Aid Disaster Provider, Red Cross (2007); and Civil Defense Team, Hawaii Department of Health (2007).

She also serves as vice president of the new West Maui Sustainability group.

“As a leader in the West Maui Sustainability group, working together, we created a student-run garden at the Princess Nahienaena School, and we will begin a community garden and composting site this fall in Napili,” she said.

Passing legislation is a key responsibility for the County Council, and Clute said she has “the patience and know-how to submit a county bill/ordinance… and to keep it moving forward until it is passed.”

If elected, Clute has her priorities set.

“Jobs, homes, health and aloha are my top priorities,” she concluded.