A Message from Kelly King
Happy New Year, Maui! 2019 has gotten off to a great start at the Maui County Council and there is so much work to be done to help move our island paradise towards a brighter tomorrow. I am honored and humbled to be serving as Chair and proud to help steer us for the next term. We can all be a part of shaping our future by getting involved and staying informed. Bills are being introduced at the Hawaii State Legislature that will affect us all. Strong testimony from our community will help our state leaders make informed decisions. You can go to www.capitol.hawaii.gov to sign up and input testimony supporting or opposing bills that are being introduced. The Council is also gearing up for the next budget session. Please let us know what you feel are our community needs and participate in the process through the island-wide community budget hearings that will be scheduled for April. Budget Committee Chair Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, along with myself as committee co-chair, have been meeting with experts in our state to develop a more efficient, transparent and inclusive budget process.

As we work together in this new climate of openness and empowerment, I am extremely optimistic about what we can achieve. We have big challenges ahead including climate change and sea level rise, a new era for agriculture and aging infrastructure, but I am confident that together we will create solutions that will benefit our community for generations to come.

Key Legislative Initiatives this Quarter
  • The Molokai Community Plan Update: The Molokai Island Community Plan update passed unanimously out of council on its second reading, December 11.

  • State Bill holding hosting platforms and booking agents responsible for promoting illegal short term rentals: Councilmember King proposed at the state level a bill to grant the state and counties the authority to regulate hosting platforms and booking agents like AirBnB and VRBO.
  • Confirmation of Department Directors: Testimony for appointed directors are being accepted by all councilmembers. Confirmation by the new council began in the GET committee on January 23.

  • Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC) legislation package: The HSAC legislation package that supports bills that promote our county's agendas was presented January 24 on Oahu. Maui also looks forward this year to hosting the HSAC conference in early June. The annual conference attracts leaders from all four counties and will comprise of presentations and panels focused on sustainability and our islands' other hot topics.

Kelly sending a big mahalo to drivers on the Pi'ilani Highway with seven other newly elected councilmembers
on November 11, 2018.
Kelly was proud to be at the County Employee of the Year Awards when Taylor Kamakawiwoole was honored for going above and beyond with his work with the Kihei homeless population.
Kihei Updates
The fourth quarter in 2018 saw projects commence and/or continue in process, addressing affordable housing, homeless resources, Hawaiian Ahupua'a territory signage and the long anticipated regional park and gymnasium. Some projects have just started getting off the ground such as the Pu'uhonua Mobile Hygiene Unit that will support our homeless community while the Kaiwahine Village Project is in full construction and the first Ahupua`a signs have been installed.
Affordable Housing
The Kaiwahine Village project at the top of Kaiwahine Street in North Kihei broke ground this summer and is on task to be completed November 2020. The 120-unit Kihei affordable rental housing project is exciting news for low income families seeking an affordable, clean and safe home to rent. The developer/owner, Urban Housing Communities LLC (UHC) negotiated a temporary construction road through Haleakala Ranch property behind the project to reduce heavy equipment impacts on the busy neighborhoods along Kaiwahine Street. It is great to see this collaboration and cooperation. To find out more about UHC and other affordable housing developments they have completed, you can go to www.uhcllc.net
Pi'ilani and Lipoa Crossing
With the opening of the new Kihei Charter School and impending future completion of the new Kihei High School, pedestrian safety is a concern at the Pi'ilani and Lipoa intersection. Kihei Community Police Officers have been helping to ensure safe passage at certain times of the day while the Department of Public Works has recently retimed the traffic signals so the Lipoa Street and Lipoa Parkway are on separate phases. They are also implementing a new optimization plan at Pi'ilani Highway/Pi'ikea Street and Pi'ilani/Lipoa Street based on recent traffic counts and will also be installing signs for the cross walks in the right turn lanes this year. In addition, DPW is planning to continue the sidewalk on the mauka side to the intersection, which currently ends at the right-of-way.
Councilmember King began advocating for a safer highway crossing, in light of the future Kihei High School mauka of Piilani Highway. She previously sent a letter of inquiry to the Hawaii State Land Use Commission and is working on filing a request for a declaratory ruling on the original intent of the LUC conditions of approval (that appears to require the construction of either an underpass or overpass) to ensure the safety and future health of our students.
Homelessness in South Maui
Councilmember King's office is continuing to work with Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center to create access to resources for our unsheltered South Maui community members. The Pu'uhonua Mobile Unit (PMU) will offer services to assist the homeless, identifying needs and providing referrals to shelters and other services. Basic services will include toilets, showers, and a place to receive donations of toiletries, clothing, food, etc., as well as internet services for job and housing searches. The PMU first year goal is to assist at least 100 homeless persons in the South Maui area. At this time funding has been identified and is being secured.
Kalama Park
During the third and fourth quarter of 2018 delays were experienced during the permitting process for the renovations to the skate park. The DPW is anticipating the scheduling of the renovations in the beginning of this year. The construction of shades for the Kalama park playground was budgeted for this fiscal year and is also expected to be completed. The RFP for construction will being going out in January 2019.
Kihei Regional Park Gymnasium
Kihei has long awaited a community gymnasium for inside recreation and sports. Construction during this quarter has been consistent and a tentative opening date has been scheduled for April 2019. The Kihei Regional Park gymnasium, located within the grounds of the Kihei Regional Park on Liloa Street, will be a first for South Maui.
Ahupua'a Signs
In 2017 Councilmember King helped secure funding for the Aha Moku O Kula Makai Council to develop an Ahupua'a sign project, demarcating the historical South Maui mauka to makai communities. 12 signs are being installed at six South Kihei locations to raise awareness about Hawaii’s ancient land division system and natural resources in Kula Makai (Kihei). The first sign was erected on October 26th, 2018. The installation of the signs is a collaborative effort between the Aha Moku O Kula Makai, Kihei Community Association, Maui County Council, and State Department of Transportation.

Traffic concerns at the intersection between Pi'ilani Highway and Lipoa, especially for the students of the newly constructed Charter School, are temporarily being addressed with the help from our Kihei Community Police Officers.
The Kihei Regional Park Gymnasium is under construction and has a tentative opening date of April, 2019.
The first Apupua'a sign was put in place along South Kihei Road in October. There will be 6 signs, each depicting their location's Hawaiian name and a silhouette of flora and fauna from that area.
Ongoing Initiatives

As we wrap up 2018 and move forward into 2019, Councilmember King sends a warm mahalo to her eight colleagues on the Council for their unanimous support in electing her to the Council Chair position at the first organizational meeting on January 2, 2019. Mahalo also to the many community members who testified in favor of the action. After the elections of Councilmember Keani Rawlins-Fernandez to Council Vice Chair and Councilmember Tasha Kama to Pro Tempore, her first order of action was to introduce new Council Rules and propose a new committee structure that follows the objectives of the County Wide Policy Plan. Both were passed by the new council as we enter into a new era for Maui County. 

In Our Community
Kelly attends quarterly board meetings with the Kihei Community Assn. (KCA), to stay informed by her community and also to share information from the county
and state level.
Kelly volunteered at the Maui Fair in October at the MEDB booth. In partnership with Maui's High Performance and Energy Resilient Communities Project (HiPER Comm) they helped inform attendees how we can be more energy resilient.
Kelly attended the State of Hawaii's inauguration while an office staff attended the Big Island inauguration, which occurred on the same day
in December.
Keeping Up
Throughout 2018 Council Chair King attended every public meeting held by the Kihei Community Association , as well as quarterly meetings with the KCA board, and various other community events, to stay connected and informed, and to share valuable information.
With her successful re-election in November Council Chair King solidified her standing on the council. She wrapped up agendas in her planning committee, including presentations by the Department of Planning on the Special Management Area rules and Shoreline Area rules and an update on the department’s Transient Vacation Rental enforcement program. She also took on a few items from Councilmember Carroll's Land Use Committee (at his request, as he was hospitalized and in recovery during the last quarter). This included the community plan amendment and conditional permit for Maui Oceanfront Inn and Sarento's On The Beach restaurant and a proposed bill for an ordinance amending the Paia-Haiku Community Plan relating to visitor accommodations. The latter was referred to the next council for final approval.
Carrying on her strong tradition of collaboration, Council Chair King believes it is important to form strong bonds with neighbor island leaders as we move forward on important issues that impact the islands, and she looks forward to working with them all. Council Chair King flew to Oahu in December to attend the inauguration of Governor David Ige and Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, while a member of her office staff flew to the Big Island to attend the new Council's inauguration. She also recently attended the opening day of the State Legislature and hopefully set the groundwork for future cooperation.
Council Chair King and her staff anticipate a bright new year full of innovative and collaborative solutions. Please feel free to contact the office if you have any concerns, issues or ideas to help our community thrive.

Mahalo nui loa

To learn more about becoming a member of KCA click here
Council Chair King is currently serving on the following state and national organizations:
  • Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC)
  • Hui Malama Learning Center - emeritus
  • Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance - founder and immediate past president
Susan Foley, Executive Assistant
Susan and her husband Mike have lived on Maui for over 20 years. With almost 40 years of administrative and marketing experience, Susan loves working with people and seeing them succeed in their dreams.
Terra Malia Foti, Executive Assistant
Born and raised on Oʻahu, with careers in both hospitality and real estate, Terra enjoys her role here as it allows her to find her influential voice benefiting generations to come.

Kate Griffiths,
Legislative & Policy Analyst
With a degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science, Kate has always had a keen interest in how governance shapes our world. With her career in publishing and community advocacy, she continues her mission to support Maui, a place she has called home for over 20 years.
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200 South High Street
Wailuku, HI 96793


NEWSLETTER - First Quarter 2019

Editor: Kate Griffiths / Terra Foti