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One man’s opinion: Fix LAC at Monday’s meeting

By Staff | Jan 22, 2015

LAHAINA – There is an important board election at the Pioneer Inn on Monday, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. (get there early). If you love Lahaina and have fresh ideas, some managerial or event promotion talent, or are a merchant, our town needs you to step up.

(In case you are wondering, this is solely my opinion, clearly labeled, formed after reading the meeting notice in this paper.)

The community needs to elect an entirely new board to the LahainaTown Action Committee, or win a majority made up of enlightened people who can produce significant change. Indeed, this is do-able.

Exhausted after returning from a move-out of an apartment in Chicago the last 30 days in below zero temperatures, the last thing I wanted to do was write this column.

My intent last summer to was to start a community conversation about LAC. That is what occurred, with lots of support for this view from influential people. But there was no action.

It is important to note, first, that over the years, LAC has had great leaders or supporters, including Joan McKelvey, David Allaire, Connie Sutherland, Ruth McKay, Bill Countryman, Donna Soares and Jerry Kunitomo, who go way back; some still active today. It sponsored spectacular events like “A Taste of Lahaina” and the International Festival of Canoes, created by the best executive director the committee ever had: Theo Morrison, who has taken her many talents elsewhere to good effect.

Today, LAC still lights up the Banyan Tree at Christmas (if you just count the lower branches), hosts Second Friday, and sponsors Halloween, King Kamehameha Parade and about five other events, but nothing on the scale of past years.

LAC is dominated by three people who run the show and dominate six other board members listed on the website. Board actions have turned good people away, and they have made some poor decisions (no space here to include).

My step up in this new year is to encourage outstanding people in the community, newer generations, to run for the board and revitalize LAC.

Traditionally, LAC directors pick the election slate, and there is rarely opposition in the election that occurs at a January Annual Meeting.

Your strategy, good people, is to run for the board; let your friends know, bring them to the meeting where they will be able to vote if they sign on as members (you can sign up at the door), insist on nominations from the floor, and vote in the best people. Any shenanigans that take place by those running the meeting will likely illustrate LAC’s problem, since this process should be straightforward.

See you at the meeting; by the way, I will listen and not speak unless personally challenged. I have had the courage to speak up. I hope you will as well and act.