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County Council panel to discuss a wide range of issues

By Staff | Feb 3, 2011


I am newly elected Maui County Councilmember Elle Cochran. As a lifelong resident of West Maui, I am honored to hold the West Maui residency seat on the council. I ran for office in hopes of giving everyone, even “the little guy,” a voice in county government and leaving a positive legacy for the future generations.

My husband, Wayne Cochran, owns Maui Surfboards, and we both are big on ocean sports like surfing, diving and stand-up paddling. My other hobbies include yoga and photography, and I love to learn new things. My involvement with community organizations such as Faith Action for Community Equity Maui, the Save Honolua Coalition and Maui Unite have taught me the importance of working together as a community and with local government entities. Currently, I am involved with the Aloha ‘Aina Earth Day, a community recycling project that will benefit Maui’s schools.

I was able to transition into office almost seamlessly by securing two experienced executive assistants who worked for previous council members. Dana Broncheau worked for my predecessor through four different council terms, and Sarah Dyal Freistat worked for two different council members for almost four years. Both are loyal and seasoned individuals who will be a great support system for my office.

Like all council members, I represent all Maui County residents. As the holder of West Maui residency seat, I will share the perspectives of West Side residents with my colleagues. I will work to protect the buildings and other special characteristics of historic districts, as well as look into possible expansion of the Lahaina Historic District area. I will also focus on West Maui roadway improvements, the West Maui medical facility and funding for the implementation of a Kaanapali to Lahaina walkway. I will also lobby at the state level to ensure our outlying areas are equipped with emergency call boxes and sirens and that our emergency-preparedness procedures become ADA-compliant according to the FEMA requirements.

As chair of the council’s Infrastructure Management Committee, I would like to devote several meetings to discussing the plans for phasing out injection wells in Maui County. We will also be discussing a wide range of issues, including regulating construction on steep terrain, increasing the use of recycled water, implementing curbside recycling, improving ADA services, reviewing the downhill bicycle tour study and the landfill gas utilization study, and regulating mopeds on bike paths.

Sarah Dyal Freistat (right) and Dana Broncheau (left) helped Elle Cochran transition into office.

My goal is to create a relationship with the community and serve as the people’s advocate in the Council Chamber. I hope to help diversify the economy through promoting self-sustainability through agriculture, advocate food security, encourage international visitor arrivals and promote renewable energy and other high-tech science — all while promoting cultural sensitivity.

I am here to serve the public and the greater good, and I invite anyone to contact me at my office to voice their concerns by phone at 270-5504 or e-mail: elle.cochran@mauicounty.us.