A Message from Council Chair Kelly King
When I first took office, one of my primary goals as a Councilmember was to be open and responsive to the needs and wants of our community. I believed then, and even more so now, that community involvement in local government empowers Mauians to initiate the change they want to see on our beautiful island.
This past quarter, we've seen community involvement at an all-time high. Many of you are communicating your questions and concerns with my office, either directly or through our social media accounts. We've continued to receive positive feedback from the growing audience that watches our County Council proceeds live on Akaku Community Media's Channel 53 broadcast. And at our recent public meeting about fire safety, the community took advantage of the opportunity to discuss their concerns with myself and members of the Maui Police Department, the Maui Fire and Safety Department, Emergency Management Services and Maui Electric Company.
The highlight of the quarter was the impressive turnout by the public to voice their opinions on legislative matters. A record number of 99 people signed up to testify during a two-day marathon meeting of the Council’s Government, Ethics and Transparency Committee to express their opinions on a case brought against the County by Hawaii Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club Maui, Surfrider Foundation and West Maui Preservation Association. The group of concerned citizens also presented me with a petition with nearly 16,000 signatures urging the Council to find and implement a solution to the wastewater pollution in West Maui rather than taking the suit to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Looking back on the third-quarter of 2019, I am proud to note that together with Maui County Council, we continue to work toward implementing solutions to key issues that concern those who call Maui Nui home, particularly affordable housing, protecting our ‘aina and keeping the community safe.

My hope is that you all have a safe and happy Halloween and a wonderful Thanksgiving season celebrating with friends and family.

Key Legislative Initiatives this Quarter

  • County of Maui v. Hawai'i Wildlife fund, injection well lawsuit settled: The Council voted to settle the case and withdraw the County of Maui’s appeal to the Supreme Court. The original lawsuit was filed in 2012 against the County of Maui, alleging violations under the Clean Water Act. The suit also stated that the County needs to obtain a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit (NPDES) to continue using injection wells. The suit led to a 9th Circuit Court decision in favor of the plaintiffs and was appealed by the County of Maui to the U.S. Supreme Court. Thousands of citizens voiced concern that proceeding with the County’s appeal would undermine the Clean Water Act and allow expanded pollution across the country. A record number of testifiers attended the committee and Council meetings to implore Councilmembers to settle the case and stop efforts that could end the protections of public waters. The Council agreed and voted to focus on solutions, especially reuse, rather than litigation.

  • Waikapu Country Town: The Council passed three bills to approve the community plan and zoning changes that will allow the Waikapu Country Town project to proceed. The project, near the Maui Tropical Plantation, has been in the planning stages for 12 years. This project includes 1,433 single-family, multifamily and rural units, and 146 ohana units; 200,000 square feet of commercial space; 82 acres of parks and open space; 8 miles of sidewalks, paths and trails; a 12-acre elementary school; and a 910-acre agricultural conservation district. Single-family homes in the new community will be available to those earning in the below-moderate to above-moderate income brackets. Multifamily workforce rental units will be available for those earning in the very low to moderate brackets. The remainder of the housing will be offered at market value. This project is a great example of how a developer and a community can come together to support appropriate affordable housing.
  • Illegal Short Term Rentals: Chair King's office is also continuing to work on bills to address the illegal short-term rental (STR) issue. One is a proposal to regulate hosting platforms that are promoting illegal STRs. The new bill would be similar to legislation that passed in San Francisco, which was later upheld by the 9th Circuit Court after a challenge by Airbnb. This quarter, the Council also approved an ordinance to increase fines for illegal short-term rentals to up to $20,000 to align with the Charter Amendment recently passed by Maui voters.
Council Chair King supported and celebrated our community by helping to introduce several ceremonial resolutions. On Sept. 20, the day of the Global Climate Strike, the Council passed a ceremonial resolution recognizing the efforts of Maui County residents to highlight climate change, especially through participation in the Global Climate Strike. Chair King also helped to introduce resolutions to celebrate the achievements of two Central East Maui Little League baseball teams. Central East Maui Major All-Stars finished in the top 5 of the Little League World Series and Central Maui Senior Little League All-Stars won the Senior League World Series! In July, the Council honored Judge Joseph E. Cardoza for his four decades of service and congratulated him on his retirement from the 2nd Circuit Court.  
Welcoming Toho University students of Sustainable Science to the Chambers to observe the inner workings of Council proceedings.
Meeting with community environmental groups to accept a petition urging the Maui County Council to settle the injection well lawsuit that was headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.
South Maui Updates

One of the most exciting advancements for South Maui in the third quarter was the progress made toward helping more residents secure affordable housing, including the lottery for affordable rentals which was held in August. As the Council works towards implementing the vision of the Countywide Policy Plan, adopted into the Maui County Code in 2010, Chair King is committed to a future where neighborhoods feel like true communities and natural resources are protected. Her active approach to the issues is continual and the fruits of our collective labor are bearing out!

Affordable Housing
The quarter highlighted two milestones for Maui County’s affordable housing programs: The lottery drawings for the Kaiwahine Village affordable rental units project in Kihei and the first-time home buyer’s assistance program for all residents. Kaiwahine Village, managed by nonprofit 501(c)3 developer Ikaika Ohana, features 118 units for residents with qualifying incomes 30% to 60% of the County of Maui average median income (AMI), ranging from $41,000 for an individual to $72,000 for a family of seven. The drawing for applicants took place in Kihei this August and many Kihei families were thrilled to be selected. Of interest to those who want to purchase a home, the first-time home buyer’s assistance program was doubled by the Council to $2 million in this year’s budget and provides down-payment grants up to $30,000 for qualified home buyers.

Unsheltered in South Maui
Chair King's office continues its dedication to the unsheltered population on Maui, working to provide access to resources essential to survival. To that end, our collaborative efforts with Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center have created the Ka La Hiki Ola Mobile Hygiene Unit, a trailer facility for South Maui that can be driven to different locations in the community offering much needed services. The Mobile Hygiene Unit will provide essentials such as toilets, showers and counseling as well as being a central hub for donations of toiletries, clothing food, etc.. Staff will be available to help to identify needs, providing referrals to shelters and other services. The unit also features cell phone charging and internet services to help with searches for jobs and housing. The goal for Ka La Hiki Ola’s first year is to assist at least 100 unsheltered residents of South Maui. 

Chair King attended the Ka La Hiki Ola blessing on Sept. 24 and expects the unit to be serving our community in October. The date of the official public South Maui launch will be posted on our Facebook page.

Parks & Recreation
Kihei Regional Park Gymnasium
The 34,000-square-foot Kihei Regional Park Gymnasium, located within the grounds of the Kihei Regional Park on Lipoa Street, is near completion! The recreation center is set to have two basketball/volleyball courts end-to-end. Seating for the primary court is 700 and the secondary court will accommodate 320 people, with a retractable divider separating the two areas when needed. There is a commercial kitchen area, three community meeting rooms and outdoor community spaces, including an area to accommodate food trucks. The gym also features multiple restroom facilities. The Department of Parks and Recreation expects the new gymnasium to be open by the end of the year.
Kalama Park
The renovations on the South Maui Skatepark are nearly complete. New features at the refurbished flow park include a vertical wall, ledges, rails, pool coping, hips and pockets. The skatepark was originally scheduled for completion on Aug. 19, but the reopening date has moved to early October following unavoidable shipping delays. An RFP for the construction of shades for the Kalama Park Playground has also been issued. Hopefully, South Maui keiki will soon have the shade they need to enjoy the park safe from overexposure to the sun.
Kihei Aquatic Center
Congratulations to the Kihei Aquatic Center for once again winning “Best Public Pool” in Maui Time's 2019 "Best Of" issue. The Center provides something for everyone, from keiki trying to escape the heat to competitive swimmers training in the 8-lane Olympic-sized pool. In addition to the Olympic pool, the Aquatic Center features a 75’ x 81’ warm-up pool, a 10’ x 30’ keiki pool with a fountain, 1-meter and 3-meter springboards, a scoreboard, and meeting/hospitality rooms for officials and competitors.
Roads & Sidewalks
County Public Works projects continued to bring positive changes for South Maui’s roads and sidewalks in the third quarter of 2019. New sidewalks are being designed for both South Kihei Road and Ohukai Road. On Ohukai, Public Works will be completing the sidewalk route between South Kihei Road and the state’s right-of-way on Piilani Highway. There are also plans to provide a continuous sidewalk route on South Kihei Road from Piikea Avenue to Kulanihakoi Street. Bidding for the latter project is anticipated to start in the summer of 2020.
Environmental Management
Another big shout-out and congratulations to Kihei Recycling and Redemption Center for winning “Best Recycling Center” in Maui Time’s 2019 “Best Of” issue! Eco-awareness is very important to Chair King who is proud to represent a community that prioritizes the protection and stewardship of the `aina.

Congratulating winners of the Kaiwahinie Affordable
Housing Lottery.
South Maui Aquatic Center wins Best Pool on Maui Award.
Attending the blessing of the new KHAKO Mobile Hygiene Unit
Proposed Charter Amendments
Maui Council Chair Kelly King doesn’t want to just change the rules, she wants to change the game. In her legislative role, Chair King is proposing to change the efficiency of governmental operations by introducing amendments to the County Charter.

County Governance : Chair King is proposing a reorganization of the executive branch of local government. The charter amendment on County Governance is seeking to establish that the Managing Director's role shall function as the County’s Chief Operating Officer with the Mayor to function as the County’s Chief Executive Officer. The amendment proposal has been revised by a working group of citizens, including attorneys, who have long been supporting this change. It was submitted to the GET Committee on September 27, 2019.

Terms of Office and Term Limits : Councilmember terms of office and Mayoral term limits are also being considered by Chair King for charter amendment proposals. She would like to hear from the public on whether Mauians would support a staggered four-year Council term, with the top four vote-getters in the 2022 general election getting the initial four-year terms. This amendment also seeks to establish lifetime limits for Councilmembers and the Mayor.

Term Start Dates : Chair King’s office is working on a charter amendment that changes the start date of the term to the first working day in December for both Council and Mayor. The purpose of this amendment is to shorten the time period for outgoing officials to a month or less rather than the current two-month period. This amendment aligns our start dates with those of Hawaii and Kauai.

Council Meeting Schedule : An amendment is being proposed to deregulate the frequency of County Council meetings. The Charter requires the Council to meet regularly at least two times per month, with no specified time off in any month. The proposal would require 21 Council meetings per year, giving the Council the ability to set its own schedule of meetings and also designate time off for Councilmembers.

Affordable Housing Appropriations: The Chair is also proposing to extend budget requirements for the affordable housing fund by raising the annual minimum appropriation from 2% of real property tax revenue to 3% and resetting the sunset date to 2031.
Letter to the Council Chair
Dear Councilwoman Kelly King,

I was recently selected as an applicant for one of the units at Kaiwahine Village, and as someone with an “invisible disability,” it’s gratifying to know that this community’s need for affordable housing is no longer invisible.

Many don’t know that the average monthly income for someone receiving SSDI is around $1200 and workers with a disability earn 37% less on average than their peers. So, the “disability math” just doesn’t add up in a rental market averaging $2500 a month. So, I really have won the lottery!

You were not willing to let Kaiwahine die when the original property owner was forced to file for bankruptcy. You persisted and worked with the Ikaika Ohana and together committed to making this project a reality.

I say Mahalo Councilwoman King for listening and taking action to make Maui a better, more affordable place to call home.

Mahalo Nui Loa.
Carin L. Enovijas

2019-2021 County Council

(Back row) Tasha Kama, Mike Molina, Riki Hokama, Yuki Lee Sugimura, Shane Sinenci

(Front row) Keani Rawlins-Fernandez, Kelly King, Tamara Paltin, Alice Lee
In Our Community
Bringing the community together with fire safety officials for a public meeting to help alleviate fears over the recent wildfires on Maui.
Presenting Edwin "Ekolu" Lindsey with a Congratulatory Certificate for receiving the Hawaii Chapter of the American Planning Association's Grassroots Initiative Special Recognition Award.
Joining Maui Ocean Center for a ceremonial release of four Hawaiian green sea turtles who were raised at the Center for the past three years.
Keeping Up
Council Chair King’s schedule was full this past quarter and continues our office’s commitment to positive changes both inside the Chambers and out in the community. As Chair of the Council, she works closely with groups on concerns from all areas of Maui, including attending the Alliance of Community Association meetings and topical workshops and conferences around our state.
In July, Chair King went to the mainland to attend the National Association of Counties (NACo) Annual Conference where she was appointed as a member of the Environment, Energy and Land Use (EELU) Steering Committee. Resiliency of counties was a highlighted topic at the conference. Building a resilient community is extremely important considering that rising waters, hurricanes, flooding, fires and power outages are just a few things that test our county’s ability to thrive. One of the most important aspects of survival during disasters is having cohesive communities; people who know their neighbors and care about each others’ welfare survive natural disasters better than communities where people lived relatively isolated lives. Get to know your neighbors, it could save your life!
Chair King recently took on additional responsibility as the treasurer of Hawai’i State Association of Counties (HSAC). This organization’s most significant activity is acting as a statewide voice for county concerns and lobbying at the State Legislature for bills endorsed by all four counties. After attending the September Housing Summit hosted by U.S. Senator Brian Schatz in Honolulu, our office is working with HSAC on specific state and federal legislation and deregulation proposals that could streamline affordable housing projects.
The Chair’s office also focused on community outreach this quarter, organizing a public meeting to inform residents about ways to help prevent summer wildfires and who to contact in cases of emergency. The meeting included representatives from the Maui Fire and Safety Department, the Maui Police Department, Emergency Management Services and Maui Electric Company who presented information and spoke directly with attendees about their personal concerns.
New in our office, we would like to introduce Suzanne Kayian, who joined us as a Communications Specialist in July. Suzanne brings to the team more than 25 years’ experience as a working journalist, both on the Mainland and here on Maui. The California native, who has lived on Maui for nearly 15 years, followed in her daughter Zofia’s footsteps, who interned for Chair King twice while in high school. After graduating, Zofia accepted a part-time communications position with our office, the position Suzanne filled when Zofia left Maui to attend the University of California in Santa Cruz. We wish Zofia the best and are very happy that Suzanne has joined our team!
With summer fires and hurricane season in our rear-view mirror, we wish you all an Autumn full of life and rejuvenation. Greek philosopher Heraclitus is often quoted as saying, “Change is the only constant in life.” We are a stronger community when we work together to make the positive changes needed to create a better future for our next generation.
We hope you have enjoyed this update. Please feel free to contact our office if you have any concerns or ideas to help our community thrive.

Mahalo nui loa
To learn more about becoming a member of KCA click here
Chair King is currently serving on the following state and national organizations:
  • NACo’s Environmental Energy and Land Use Steering Committee
  • Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC) - Treasurer
  • Hui Malama Learning Center - Emeritus
  • Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance - Founder and immediate past president
Michelle Del Rosario,
Executive Assistant
Michelle has a strong background in real estate, sustainability, energy, public policy research and advocacy.  
Kate Griffiths,
Legislative Research & Policy Analyst
With an honors 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.
Suzanne Kayian,
Suzanne is a journalist with a passion for media and communications. With a dual degree in Sociology and Journalism, her interests in social issues range from environmental concerns to human rights.
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NEWSLETTER - Third Quarter 2019