February 2021

As the arrival of Spring brings some breezes, showers and flowers, here at the County Council we have been finalizing appointments to a wide variety of County commissions, boards and committees including the Charter Commission, the Board of Water Supply, the Board of Ethics, the Maui Redevelopment Agency. See article below for a full listing of the new members appointed to the 2021 Charter Commission.

We also confirmed Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Martin, who will help lead the department into its next chapter of leadership with poise and expertise.

Soon we will begin the annual Budget deliberations, with many critical decisions to be weighed as we consider the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 on our economy and our community. It is my sincere hope that we can reduce our number of cases so restrictions can be eased up here, as they have been on O'ahu. We can do it, but we must remain vigilant and not let our guard down.

Until such time that we can gather in person, if there is any way we can be of assistance, please leave a voicemail at my office at 270-5501 or send me an email at tasha.kama@mauicounty.us.

Me ke aloha pumehana,
New Kahului Service Center Open for Business
DMVL, Real Property Tax offices serving customers at newly constructed building.
The County's new Kahului Service Center, located at 110 'Ala'ihi Street (off Ho'okele), is now home to offices within the Department of Finance including the Kahului Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing (DMVL), and the Real Property Assessment (RPA) and Treasury divisions (RPT). The RPT windows can also accept over-the-counter payments for water and solid waste services along with payments for real property taxes.

Office hours for all three divisions are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on holidays.

To save time, DMVL appointments can be made online at www.mauicounty.gov/dmvl. Routine (no changes) auto registration renewals can also be made at any of the conveniently located "dmvNow" kiosks.

The kiosks, which accept credit and debit card payments, are located at the Kahului Service Center, the lobby of the Kalana O Maui County Building in Wailuku, and Safeway stores in Kahului, Wailuku, Kihei and Lahaina.For more information on the kiosks, click here.
UPDATE: Rent & Utilities Relief
DHHL Waitlist Rent, Utilities Relief Available Now

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Rent Relief Program is now available for those who experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19 and are on the DHHL Applicant Waiting List or an Undivided Interest Lessee in the State of Hawai'i. Income qualification is 80% Area Median Income (AMI); amount varies by County.

Funds may be used for rent (maximum of 12 months), back rent (from March 13, 2020 to present), utilities and back payment on utilities. Funds will be paid directly to vendors.

For more information or to apply, click here.

Coming Soon: $40 million in Federal Funds for County Rent Assistance
$40 million in Federal funding for rent and utilities assistance is on the way, to help households earning 80% or below of area median income (AMI). The funding will provide relief for qualified households for delinquent rent and utility bills resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

An initial release of $15 million is expected soon, and the remainder must be allocated by the end of this year. The Maui County Dept. of Housing & Human Concerns is in the process of finalizing a nonprofit agency to administer the funding.
Groundbreaking Held for New Kahului Bus Hub
A groundbreaking ceremony was held earlier this week to mark the beginning of construction of the County of Maui Department of Transportation Central Maui Transit Hub.

The project will be located off Vevau Street near Kane Street in Kahului and will replace the current transit hub on the Wailuku side of Queen Ka`ahumanu Center. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

When complete, the new Transit Hub will include a ticket office, ADA accessible restrooms, covered seating, bike racks, lighting and cans for trash and recycling.

The County is working in partnership with the State of Hawaii, Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation and its project team including Fukumoto Engineering, Riecke Sunnland Kono Architects, Munekiyo Hiraga, West Maui Construction and Bowers+Kubota.

Interesting note: In fiscal year 2020, the Maui Bus fixed route system had 1.37 million boardings.
Around Town: Kahului Community Center & Park
Those wanting to get some outdoor exercise can find a variety of options at Kahului Community Center (KCC) Park, located off Onehe'e Avenue and Uhu Street.

The park complex encompasses 34 acres, and features Kokua Pool (which will reopen 3/1/21), four tennis courts, two playground areas, two soccer/baseball fields, a gateball field and a walking/jogging path.

A community center with kitchen and two meeting rooms will be available once Covid restrictions are lifted. Public restrooms are available, with an ADA portable toilet located near the tennis courts.
To make a lap swimming reservation at any Maui County pool, call (808) 270-6116; a prompt will direct you to your preferred pool. Reservations are first-come, first-served and may only be made over the phone up to 48 hours in advance. Phone reservation hours are 8 a.m. - noon Mon.-Thurs. and 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. Fridays (excluding holidays).

For more information on pool reservations, click here.
Please join me on Sunday, Mar. 14th, at The Maui Sunday Market. I'll be there to talk story and learn more about the needs and priorities for our Kahului District.

Click here for more Info: Maui Sunday Market
New Members to Charter Commission Appointed
Every ten years, the members of the Maui County Charter Commission are appointed by the County Council (9 members) and the Mayor (2 members) to serve a 16-month term. The Commission will review and consider revisions to the Maui County Charter, which is our constitutional document.

The new members appointed by the Council are: Kelson Kauanoe Batangan, Doreen Canto, Grant Chun, Lance Collins, Paul Deslauriers, Keoni Kuoha, Douglas Mardfin, Ashley Olson and George Purdy IV. The members appointed by Mayor Victorino are: David DeLeon and Karey Kapoi.

Mahalo to these volunteers for their willingness to share their knowledge, serve our community in this meaningful way. We wish them all the best as they shoulder the responsibility of helping to guide the workings of our County.
Council Calendar 2021 Posted
The Council recently published its 2021 Calendar. To view or download the 2021 Council Calendar, click here.

To view agendas, testimony and documents on file for any agenda item, visit www.mauicounty.us/agendas and select the timeframe and committee.

Check each agenda for the BlueJeans link you can use to provide oral testimony, or send written testimony via the "eComment" tab on the Agendas webpage.

To watch meetings, you can tune in to Akaku Ch. 53 or via the "Agenda" page during the meeting - there will be a tab that says "In Progress" that will take you to the live broadcast.
Mahalo & Aloha to Our Outgoing Interns
Our two interns recently completed their internship with our office, and we wish them all the best as they prepare for college and careers. Mahalo, Stella and Chaslyn for your assistance!

Stellamae Sickels
"Working for Councilmember Kama, I have definitely been out of my comfort zone. I learned how to communicate better and research important information in a timely fashion."
Chaslyn Kala
"Interning for Councilmember Tasha Kama has been a great experience. This opportunity has improved my work ethic and also allowed me to gain a few new skills from people outreach to charting important information. These two skills can be useful in my dream job, Massage Therapy."
From the Kama Kitchen: Savory Shoyu Chicken
A perfect example of local "comfort food." Serve with rice, or cauliflower "rice" for a healthier version.
Recipe & photos courtesy Intern Chaslyn Kala.


2-3 lbs. chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
2 Cups sugar
2 Cups Aloha shoyu, low-sodium
1 Tbsp. grated or ground ginger root
1 Cup water

For a healthier version, reduce sugar to 1 Cup and reduce shoyu to 1 1/2 Cups.

Crushed garlic; a splash of sesame or chili oil; or toasted sesame seeds to taste.

Add all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes.