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Help fuel WMTA’s work in the community

By Staff | Mar 4, 2010

Longtime West Maui Taxpayers Association leader Joe Pluta said the community nonprofit is running on empty.

“Our challenge is to convince the West Maui property owners to provide us with the financial fuel to run our engine of opportunity for West Maui interests,” he commented.

“Everyone is hurting financially; however, like the gas they have to pay for and put into their cars to run, the WMTA depends solely on volunteer contributions to exist.

“Our membership fees alone cannot sustain the ambitious agenda of work laid out before us,” he continued. “The engine warning light — fuel supply low light — is lit.”

West Side residents and companies should support WMTA by joining, because the region needs a voice in county and state government, and the community group has a long track record of achievement.

Seeing a glaring need in isolated West Maui, Pluta and WMTA members raised money to establish the Napili Fire and Ambulance Station in 1992, as well as the West Maui Hospital & Medical Center in the final stages of pre-construction planning.

WMTA also lobbied for a $90,000 county grant to beautify Pohaku Park (S-Turns) in Kahana, improvements to Lower Honoapiilani Road and other roadways, the West Maui Senior Center and many other projects/

With Saturday’s tsunami warning fresh in our minds, remember that WMTA urged the county to develop a Civil Defense plan and recruit volunteers to act as coordinators in the event of an emergency, lobbied for a trailer to be placed near the Lahaina Fire Station to house emergency supplies in case a disaster strikes West Maui and asked the county to update Lahaina Civic Center to a full-fledged safety shelter.

Expect this important work to continue under WMTA’s rejuvenated 2010 Board of Directors: Donald Lehman, president; Bob Pure, vice president; Pluta, treasurer and president emeritus; Patricia Maielua, secretary; and directors Paul Brown, Pamela English, Jim Hentz, Richard Jarman, Gregg Nelson and Uwe Schulz.

“I believe that dedication, commitment and aloha are the strong points of our WMTA board… We have a diversified group representing business and community interests from Kapalua to Olowalu and with state and county experience. We could not afford to pay for this outstanding talent on our WMTA board, who fortunately volunteer their time and services,” said Pluta.

Help fuel WMTA by becoming a member. Dues are paid annually for individuals ($50), families ($100) and businesses ($100).

For more information, visit www.westmaui.org, call 280-9682 or e-mail wmta@maui.net.

WMTA is the only regional community group on the West Side. Help this nonprofit continue to fight for important projects that benefit everyone.