McKelvey to battle Marten for State House seat
WEST MAUI – State Tenth House District Rep. Angus McKelvey (D) said he is seeking re-election “to continue to improve the lives of people in Lahaina and all of Maui when it comes to state issues and resources.”
His opponent in the Nov. 8 General Election, Republican Chayne Marten, wrote in a recent e-mail to Lahaina News: “I wish to bring hope and fresh, new ideas into government with your support of my bid to serve as a member of our State House.”
Marten was arrested on Oct. 11 on eight counts of sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is in custody at Maui Community Correctional Center on $650,000 bail. A family member asked the paper to run a recent letter by Marten, which is included in this article.
Talking to residents of the Tenth District (West Maui, Maalaea, North Kihei), McKelvey, 48, said the need for true affordable housing for West Side residents, infrastructure – particularly the Lahaina Bypass and Honoapiilani Highway seawalls – and the management transition of Maui Memorial Medical Center are the top issues this election season.
An experienced lawmaker who has represented the district since 2006, McKelvey said he is currently fighting for funding to build the Lahaina Bypass in both directions with community input, working with the County of Maui and federal government on realigning Honoapiilani Highway and supporting beach renourishment efforts, and working to secure funding to ensure Honolua Bay remains an open, pristine resource for all of the community.
If re-elected, McKelvey has specific goals for the 2017 Legislative Session.
“In addition to the above, we need to pursue paid family leave, reorganize and invest in our small rural airports and create funding for access transportation issues, like emergency and regular ferry service from Maalaea to Lahaina and restoring funding for the Molokai ferry, too. Also looking to move legislation that would create funding for affordable housing projects aimed specifically at families who lived and still work in West Maui,” he explained.
Rep. McKelvey, who chairs the Economic Revitalization, Business & Military Affairs Committee and serves as vice-chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce panel, cited strongly advocating to save Honolua Bay from development as one of his top accomplishments as a lawmaker. Another was authoring a bill to allow for electronic proof of insurance in Hawaii.
“While it seems like such a manini (small) thing, being the only state which accepted only paper proof of insurance created a hardship for Maui folks who often had to drive without legal proof of insurance, even though they had coverage, because they had not received a card. Now people can have proof of insurance immediately with their coverage – something which has not only benefited neighbor islanders tremendously, but has also helped law enforcement catch drivers without legitimate insurance as well,” McKelvey said.
A lifelong Lahaina resident, McKelvey is a member of LahainaTown Action Committee, Lahaina Restoration Foundation and Lahaina Rotary Club, a former director with West Maui Taxpayers Association and a former member of the Lahaina Bypass Now Team.
He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Whittier College and a Juris Doctor from Concord School of Law.
Seeking his sixth straight two-year term, McKelvey is proud of his track record at the legislature.
“Over the past ten years, I have built upon my legal and legislative skills to become an effective lawmaker who secured funding for West Maui and have passed numerous pieces of legislation to help working families everywhere. I am adept at building alliances with other policy makers by connecting the challenges and issues we face in our community to tackle our issues as part of the broader issues facing others in Hawaii,” he said.
“I have been a strong advocate for West Maui, and my track record speaks for itself. I would be honored to continue to serve the people of our district,” he said, when asked why voters should choose him.
Green energy consultant Marten, 64, has served the community through the American Red Cross, American Heart Association and West Maui Taxpayers Association.
He attended Bethany Bible College and the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory.
Marten’s political experience includes appointment to the Advisory Council of San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in California and running against McKelvey in 2012 and 2014.
He detailed some of his goals in a recent letter to the Lahaina News:
“Many give lip service to the concept of self-sufficiency for Hawaii. What if we in West Maui were to utilize a significant portion of our vacant agricultural land to help provide for our underprivileged? Owing to the departure of the pineapple industry, our fallow land should be repurposed to help support those in need through the establishment of a visionary proposal to set up a program to adopt a defined plot to be used for the growing of food. Such work has been determined to feed the soul as well as the stomach, and benefit the ‘aina. Let’s work to make this dream a reality, rather than having these lands acquired by commercial growers.
Vocational training can be offered to help strengthen our ‘ohana by offering workers skills in many trades, such as auto mechanics, plumbing, electrical and carpentry, to name a few.
School bus transportation should be free, allowing keiki to arrive and depart safely from school. School time meals of breakfast and lunch should be given to those students in need. No keiki should struggle to learn on an empty stomach.
Real estate property taxes should be frozen for our kupuna at age 60 for those who meet financial criteria. Additionally, our senior citizens should be exempt from taxes on food and medicines.
I will help support mothers by working to increase early childhood education options.
I ardently support realignment of our one road access to West Maui.
I will work with labor unions to promote our resident workers and make wage increases a reality for our teachers.
I will also work to make affordable rentals a reality, supporting human dignity and independence rather than government dependence.
Together we can turn hope into reality.”