A Message from Kelly King
In my first term I helped spear-head conversations and policies to find solutions to address homelessness, sea level rise, water quality, tourism management, enforcement of illegal short-term rentals, cultural awareness and a special revolving fund for beach access and coastal management. This term I am working with experts and leaders in the community to identify specific projects as well as reform internal policies and procedures in my new position as Council Chair.

I believe more than ever that working together is the key to achieving what is needed to help Maui thrive, but we must stay focused on the big picture and the greater good. I deeply appreciate my fellow councilmembers’ trust in my leadership and look forward to bringing the council into a new era of cooperation and camaraderie. At the state level I look forward to working with my council colleagues in our neighboring counties to support goal-oriented policies and legislation through my new position on the executive board of the Hawaii State Association of Counties.

This year more than ever, we are realizing we are all in the same canoe. I am humbled to have been elected to help steer it towards a sustainable, equitable and prosperous future. I look forward to taking action on solutions and implementing policies to solve our County’s challenges in ways that will benefit our residents for generations to come.
Key Legislative Initiatives this Quarter
  • New Rules of the Council adopted: One of Council Chair King’s first calls to action was the proposed new Rules of the Council. These amendments included new conduct guidelines relating to professional behavior, public meetings, attendance, the incorporation of special committees and Temporary Investigative Groups (TIG), and a new disclosure rule for paid lobbyists who testify.

  • Standing Committees and Chairs/Vice Chair Assignments: Chair King proposed new standing committees focused on goals aligned with those of the County Wide Policy Plan. The committees were approved by the new Council in the first meeting. In the subsequent Council meeting Committee Chair positions were discussed in the open and approved unanimously.

  • Confirmation of Department Directors: A 2016 Charter Amendment requires all Department Directors to be approved by the County Council. Eight out of eleven nominees were approved; Directors for the departments of the Prosecuting Attorney, Housing and Human Concerns and Public Works, all of which were holdovers from the previous administration, were denied. The Mayor has sixty days to appoint replacements. Former Councilmember Don Guzman was nominated to replace the Prosecuting Attorney position on March 1, and was approved by the Council on April 5. On March 19 the Mayor announced Lori Tshuhako as his new nominee for Director of Housing and Human Concerns and Rowena Dagdag-Andaya as his Director of Public Works on April 1. For a full list of new department heads go to the County of Maui website.

  • Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC): The Maui County Council, under the leadership of Chair King, looks forward to hosting this year’s HSAC Conference, June 9-12 at the Wailea Beach Resort. The annual conference attracts elected officials and community leaders from all four counties and will comprise of presentations and panels focused on Hot Topics in Sustainability such as the following: climate change/sea level rise, affordable housing, tourist management, invasive species as well as fiscal and leadership sustainability. You can register to participate in this summer's conference at https://hsac2019.eventbrite.com. Early Bird registration is valid until April 15.

  • Declaratory Ruling Reiterating and Affirming the Requirement for a Pedestrian Overpass or Underpass to Allow Safe Access to Kihei School: Prompted by Chair King, the Maui County Planning Department has filed a Declaratory Ruling from the Land Use Commission (LUC) to require a pedestrian overpass or underpass for the new Kihei High School. A supporting resolution was introduced by Chair King and approved by the council in February. Chair King testified to the LUC, stating, “This is an extremely important condition, and if it holds up the high school opening and saves even one life, it will be worth it.” 

Chair King flew to D.C. this quarter to represent Maui at the National Association of Counties (NACo) Legislative Conference. With nearly 2000 other appointed county officials they focused on federal policy that impact counties and our residents.

Chair King attends monthly Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC) executive board meetings as our Maui Representative.
Kihei Updates
South Maui had some exciting changes in this first quarter. The anticipated renovation of the skate park, held up in the permit process, finally initiated construction (see pic) and bids went out for the installation of shades for the playground at Kalama Park. Several road work projects were underway or completed, while some older planning projects changed form or came back to life. We are happy to report that the North Kihei affordable housing project at the top of Kaiwahine Street and the mobile hygiene unit to serve our unsheltered population are on track, and the Ahupua'a sign project South Kihei Road portion is complete. Please continue reading to learn more and catch up on the different projects in our South Maui community:

Affordable Housing
The Kaiwahine Village affordable rental project broke ground last summer and is on task to be completed in early 2020. This 118-unit north Kihei project is exciting news for very low income families seeking an affordable, clean and safe home to rent on Maui. To find out more about UHC and other affordable housing developments they have completed, visit www.uhcllc.net.

Ahupua'a Signs
In her first term, Chair King helped secure funding for the Aha Moku O Kula Makai Council to develop an Ahupua'a identification sign project. The 12 colorful signs on South Kihei Road demarcate the historical Hawaiian mauka to makai communities in our district. The Ahupua`a signs encourage cultural awareness and respect for the ancient land division system and natural resources in the Kula Makai (Kihei) moku (district). Keep your eyes peeled for more signs along the Piilani Highway to be installed by the State Department of Transportation. The installation of the signs is a collaborative effort between the Aha Moku O Kula Makai, Kihei Community Association, Maui County Council, Maui County Public Works Department and State Department of Transportation.

Homelessness in South Maui
Chair King's office is continuing to work with the South Maui community and Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Center to create access to resources for our unsheltered South Maui community members. The collaboration birthed the Pu'uhonua Mobile Unit (PMU), a trailer facility that can be driven to different locations around South Maui offering much needed services and referrals. The PMU design has been chosen and a request for quotes has gone out to manufacturers. The PMU staff will help our homeless population by identifying needs, providing referrals to shelters and other services, and providing basics such as toilets, showers, a place to receive donations of toiletries, clothing, food, etc., as well as internet services to help this demographic search for jobs and housing. The PMU first year goal is to assist at least 100 unsheltered persons in the South Maui area. 

Old Maui Lu
At the end of last year the Maui Planning Commission granted a seven-year, eleven-month time extension to the Maui Bay Villas by Hilton Grand Vacations. Their timeshare project is taking the place of the Old Maui Lu Resort. The new extension moved the completion deadline from Feb. 2, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2027, for the 388-unit project bordered by S. Kihei Road and Kaonoulu Street. Community concerns of building in a zone predicted to be affected by sea-level rise, poor drainage, and a traffic light installation (that was a requirement from the original proposal) plague the project; however, the extensions were supported by the Planning Department. Grading and grubbing has begun and sales are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2020.

Kalama Park
Happy news for our skating keiki! The renovations to the skate park are scheduled to be completed by August 2019. An RFP for the construction of shades for the Kalama Park Playground has also been sent out, so hopefully our children will soon have the shade they need to fully enjoy the park.
Kihei Regional Park Gymnasium
The Kihei Regional Park gymnasium, located within the grounds of the Kihei Regional Park on Liloa Street, is getting close to completion. We are anticipating an opening date in mid-summer of this year.

Piilani Promenade
What was once declared as the Mega Mall project slated for 88 acres mauka of the intersection of Kaonoulu Road and Piilani Highway has now been downgraded to a commercial and light industrial subdivision. Harry Lake, Chief Executive Officer of Koa Partners (new contractor for the project) explained the downgrade to the State Land Use Commission meeting on February 20th, when the project was on the agenda.

Roads and Sidewalks
There were several County Public Works projects in motion in the first quarter of 2019. The good news is we get smooth, new roads despite the inconvenience of snarled traffic on South Kihei Road. Hopefully the worst of the traffic delays are behind us and we can start to enjoy our new, improved surfaces.

Pavement Rehabilitation of Various S. Maui Roads
These projects included reconstruction and rehabilitation road work for Kulanihakoi Street, East Waipuilani Road, East Lipoa Road and East Welakahao Road. All work is located between South Kihei Road and Piilani Highway. The reconstruction road work includes removal of the existing pavement to subgrade and replacement with new asphalt concrete pavement, hot mix asphalt concrete base course, aggregate base and a reinforcing geogrid. Reconstruction work also consists of replacement of concrete sidewalks, curbs, gutters, curb ramps and utility collars; installation of new pavement striping, markers and signs; existing drain lines that will be cured-in-place; and other incidental items Estimated date for completion is April 2019.

South Maui District Resurfacing
This project involved cold planing and resurfacing of South Kihei Road, from Kulanihakoi Bridge to Kauhaa Street, adjusting manholes and water valves, pavement striping and markers and other incidental items.
Kaiwahine Village is under construction. Once built these rental units at the top of Kawahine Street will remain 100% affordable for at least 65 years.
A handful of Kihei roads, including a section of S. Kihei Road were improved this quarter. We are grateful for the new, smoother roads and sidewalks.
Kalama Park Skate Park is currently under renovation. It is scheduled to be completed by August 2019.
Budget Season
The month of April is annually dedicated by the Council to review, amend and finalize the County of Maui budget. The Mayor submitted his budget proposal on March 25 and can be viewed here . Please attend one of the Council’s community budget hearings to make your concerns known to Councilmembers as they deliberate this month.

Below are the locations, dates and times of all county pubic meetings:
Lanai Community Center, April 1, 6:00pm
Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, April 4, 6:00pm
Hana Community Center, April 5, 6:00pm
Kihei Community Center, April 9, 6:00pm
Lahaina Civic Center, April 10, 6:00pm
Paia Community Center, April 11, 6:00pm
Mitchell Pauole Center, April 15, 6:00pm
Council Chambers (Public Hearing: RPT Range of Rates), April 24, 6:00pm
Council Chambers (Public Hearing: Fuel tax, Weight tax, RPT rates reconvene), May 10, 9:00am

Maui citizens can also testify at the Council Chambers during the Economic Development and Budget (EDB) Committee scheduled meetings or email our office at kelly.king@mauicounty.us

The Council has until June 9 for the final approval of the FY2020 budget for the County of Maui.
Letter to the Council
I want to express my appreciation for this amazing grant that was provided for my little family. My wife and I work many jobs to try and save and provide for our family, but it has been a struggle especially with our three young children. We have been moving from house to house and it has been tough trying to keep a stable place. Since we got chosen in the lottery, Jessica Krouse has been amazing. She’s helped motivate us and gave us hope throughout the process of looking for houses. Without this grant, we would’ve lost so much time to make memories with our children and our marriage. Again we would like to thank the housing division and the County of Maui and everyone who has made this grant possible for our families to be able to obtain a home. 
The Liti Family
( First-Time Home Buyer’s Down Payment Assistance Program )
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
Chair King attends as many community meetings as she can. In this picture she is speaking to a full room at the Maui Meadows Neighborhood Association on February 25.
In this picture Chair King is sitting down and talking with the Blue Planet Energy Conference Youth Academy at the Hawaii Energy Conference, hosted on Maui at the MACC on March 28.
Chair King presented County of Maui Certificates of Congratulations to the winners of the Maui Seasons for Peace Annual Maui Peace Hero Awards during their ceremony on March 8.
Keeping Up
Chair King started the year prepared by working closely with our Office of Council Services. In the new role of Council Chair there are many things that needed to be attended to: all procurement issues relating to Councilmembers’ offices the County Clerk and the Office of Council Services, receiving all communications and presenting them to the Council or referring to a committee, reviewing and authenticating by signature all acts of the Council, coordinating all legislative and intergovernmental meetings, functions, and activities on behalf of the Council and administrative tasks on behalf of the Council, as well as, the organization of Committees and introduction of the new Council Rules.

Chair King is also Maui’s representative to the executive board of the Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC). In this role she represents Maui County Council on the HSAC committee, helps support the passing of state legislation that will aid our counties, represented Maui as part of a Hawaii delegation that went to Washington, D.C., and is leading the team that is putting together the HSAC Conference hosted this year on Maui, June 9-12 at the Wailea Beach Resort.  

Even with her new busier schedule Chair King continues to attend as many public events as possible , as well as quarterly meetings with the KCA board. She attended and spoke at the Maui Meadows Neighborhood Association (see photo), and testified in front of the Land Use Commission advocating for an overpass to ensure safe passage for the new Kihei High School.

This quarter there have also been a few changes in Chair King's office. Michelle Del Rosario is back as the full time Senior Executive Assistant, while Kate Griffiths is now full time in our Research and Policy Analyst position. Susan Foley is no longer in the office and Terra Foti will be moving shortly to Oahu. We wish them all the best in their future endeavors. We currently have an opening for a part time Communications Specialist. Please call the office at 270-7108 for more information.

We appreciate what seems to be an increase in community involvement and encourage all Mauians to seek correct information and consider the shared goals in our Countywide Policy Plan in your testimonials. Please feel free to contact our 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
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
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.
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NEWSLETTER - First Quarter 2019