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Friday, September 22, 2023
Senators Push to Restore Official who Denied Firefighting Water for Lahaina
By News Release @ 1:41 AM :: 3583 Views :: Maui County, Greenmail, Land Use


News Release from Hawaii Senate Majority, Sept 21, 2023

Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – To address and mitigate ongoing controversy and confusion that has arisen surrounding the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM), the Chair of the Senate Committee on Water and Land Senator Lorraine Inouye (Senate District 1, Hilo, Paukaa, Papaikou, Pepe‘ekeo) co-authored a letter sent this afternoon to the Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Dawn Chang, and the CWRM Commissioners calling for the issue of Mr. Kaleo Manuel's employment status, including his reinstatement as CWRM First Deputy, to be addressed by CWRM as an agenda item at the next meeting on October 17, 2023. 

"I am perturbed that the removal of Kaleo Manuel happened without the members of the Commission on Water Resource Management even being consulted beforehand. The decision to remove Kaleo Manuel should have first been communicated to all the Commissioners," said Senator Inouye. "Furthermore, Chair Chang does not have the power to unilaterally remove the CWRM First Deputy and to do so required a majority vote from the Commission. I would like clarity as to whose decision it was exactly to remove Kaleo Manuel from his position. Kaleo Manuel had an outstanding track record as the CWRM First Deputy, and he was always fair and balanced in his approach to making water conservation decisions. He always kept the Āina, and the water rights of the people of Hawai‘i front of mind when doing his job. Someone of Kaleo Manuel's character deserved a better outcome than to be dismissed in the way that he was."

A copy of today's letter to Chair Chang and the CWRM Commissioners, and a copy of a recent letter from Chair Chang to Senator Inouye and the letter's co-authors are attached.


KITV: Senate Committee on Water and Land supports reinstatement of Kaleo Manuel

REALITY: 20230810 Letter describes Manuel's Obstruction as Lahaina Burned

PDF: Chang Letter to Senators

PDF: Senators’ Letter to Chang


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