Mayor Emphasizes Fiscal, Operational Strengths in State of the County Address
Outlines plans for facilities and green initiatives to keep County moving forward
News release from Office of the Mayor February 5, 2014
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawai`i – Mayor Alan Arakawa presented his 2014 State of the County Address today at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s McCoy Theater. During his speech, the Mayor underscored Maui County’s strong financial position and described his strategies for further stabilizing County operations as asked to by the community.
Mayor Arakawa noted that his administration’s efforts have been directed by requests from the community to address the issues that affect them the most, such as issuing Upcountry water meters, fixing roads, battling invasive species and improving parks and wastewater systems. “I can say, without a doubt, that our community is in a better place than when we first began this journey,” Mayor Arakawa said.
The Mayor described the momentum the County has gained by shifting gears from “simply reacting to problems to anticipating them and finding solutions.” He noted the County’s ability to save taxpayer dollars by making needed repairs before critical infrastructure systems fail, such as through the aggressive road maintenance, repair and rehabilitation schedule the Highways Division has embarked upon; Mayor Arakawa noted that federal funding opportunities have been instrumental in making possible some of the most costly road and infrastructure projects.
Mayor Arakawa also conveyed the importance of the water improvements currently underway, including new wells being developed in Central and South Maui, the reconstruction of Waikamoi Flume and other projects that are facilitating the expected release of hundreds of new Upcountry water meters beginning next week.
Park repairs, maintenance and adjustments to permitting procedures are also in progress, with work being done at 42 park restrooms throughout the County. Park expansion plans are another ongoing initiative, with the acquisition of land for the new Central Maui Regional Park, recreational areas at Launiupoko and the expansion of the War Memorial complex into a civic center.
The County’s Integrated Waste Conversion and Energy Project represents a fundamental shift that is expected to extend the lifespan of the Central Maui Landfill and allow more recycling, composting and conversion into energy and energy products.
The Mayor also highlighted affordable housing projects, the installation of GPS units in 500 County vehicles, and the option of relocating the DMVL Service Center to cut costs.
“I am proud of everything this community has accomplished,” Mayor Arakawa said. “And although we are doing well, Maui County has not reached our full potential yet. But we will, because we have the momentum, we have the energy and we will prevail. So let’s keep our economy going. Let’s keep improving our infrastructure and keep planning for the future. I know that if we keep reaching for better and brighter goals, our momentum will carry us through.”
The 2014 State of the County Address will be available online at www.mauicounty.gov/mayor and will be re-broadcast on AKAKU Ch. 54. Video of the address will also be available at a later date on the County’s official YouTube page and via Facebook.
Highlights - [Read the Mayor's Complete 2014 Address]
MN: The State of the County: Mayor seeks ‘momentum’