I am running for the Maui County Council because Maui is my home, my anchor in a bewildering world. I feel blessed to live here but also obligated to serve our community in this time of need. I am running because I have been watching our current County Council with concern and after 40 years of involvement (see bio) with the Maui County government I believe I have the knowledge and skills to help refocus our County government.
The County Council is essentially the corporate board for the nearly $1 billion enterprise that is Maui County. Maui County exists to provide our community with many of the services a modern community must have: water, police and fire protection, parks, trash disposal, sewers, public engineering, etc. It must have level-headed, competent leadership that is focused on meeting our community’s actual needs. I am running to bring balance back to our county government and refocus the county’s energies to the issues we must address.
Issues like our severe lack of housing. Maui is losing the professionals and workers that our community depends on. Doctors, nurses, teachers, police officers, and the list goes on. And we are losing our families. We must offer them hope for a Maui County they can afford. What’s driving them away, of course, is the high cost of living, and the heart of it is the extreme cost of housing. Maui County is many thousands of homes short in meeting the housing needs of our existing community. That’s why regular working folks are facing impossible housing prices.
It is simple: the lack of supply is causing extreme pricing for the housing our community must have, but no longer can afford. Supply and demand is the most basic economic concepts, but it is not a concept that the current council seems to endorse. I will work to change that. We are in a housing crisis. We have to act like it if we hope to offer real housing options for our working families. If elected, I will be focused like a laser on building housing that is truly affordable.
We are also quickly running out of time to get a handle on climate change. I am particularly concerned about the resiliency of our water supply and our ability to tap our water resources when we need them. For those of us who live on surface water systems, the recent historic droughts have been alarming and point out why it is so critical to have knowledgeable leadership.
And then there is the question of how much tourism is too much. That question must be addressed – in a deliberate, thorough manner. Like it or not, tourism is what floats our collective boat. Any proposal to shut down even a portion of our main business sector must only be considered in a deliberate, thorough manner.
I am running because I love my home in the middle of the Pacific. I have lived the majority of my life here. This is where my friends and family are. This is where my grandchildren will always call home. If elected, I will work hard to make sure our home remains Maui No Ka Oi.
I am running for the Makawao-Paia-Haiku seat on the County Council, and I humbly ask for your vote.