Peter Milbourn, 2010 candidate for Maui Mayor, Transcript:
Introduction: My name is Peter Milbourn. I’m running for Mayor of Maui County. I’m non-partisan. I haven’t got any special interests other than Maui County. I’ve lived here for 37 years, and I’m just tired of watching the same political process go through the mayor’s office. We just have too many issues that aren’t addressed. Our reefs–we’ve had a chance to save them for 40 years and they’re dying. When I got here, you could walk from Suda Store to Wailea and you’d see parrot fish and pencil urchins and the
reef was teeming with life. Now, they’re dead in a lot of places and I need to bring those back. I have some ways to do that, and I will try to implement those. There’s a billion issues that are addressing our county. I don’t have the answers for all of them, however I know that there’s people here that do have those answers. So between my staff and myself, hopefully we can at least tackle all of the problems and try to solve them.
Development: What are your thoughts on smart growth and what will you do to prevent urban sprawl? Answer: One of my biggest pet peeves is urban sprawl on Maui. We can’t let it happen. The affordable housing work workforce bill at 50% is way too much. We can’t hold people ransom in order to work here. We need to get people working, but we do need to have some affordable housing. I’m not sure at what point we break it off–somewhere between 30 and 40 probably. I’m studying this to come up with a better answer. The permit process has to be much faster. If it isn’t, we’re not going anywhere. And there’s no excuse to take that long for a permit. Maybe we could time stamp it so that every department is accountable. I will walk them through myself and find this out–why it’s taking so long.
Permitting: What are your thoughts on the county’s permitting process for B&Bs? Should the approval for B&B’s rest in the hands of council members or the mayor’s appointed planning director? Answer: The Mayor’s appointed planning director. We need to eliminate any bureaucratic red tape anywhere we can. And we need B&Bs. We need vacation rentals. The north shore got nailed when the current administration shut them down. People have a lot of time and money invested and it serves such a great purpose for our county, specifically on the north shore. There are no hotels out there. Windsurfers aren’t going to stay at the Grand Wailea. There’s no room to keep their boards there and drive back and forth. What a ridiculous move that was, and it hurt us so bad. I will immediately change the policy and open these B&Bs and vacation rentals up, with the stipulation that they can’t disrupt their neighborhood. If they do, they don’t get to have it. Simple as that. There’s no rocket science here.
Fireworks Ban: Are you in support of or against it? Answer: We can’t allow fires to start in dry areas. It just cannot happen. I don’t care how much you love to watch fireworks. We need to put them in areas that are restricted and that are not a danger to our community. Anything that’s a danger to our community is ridiculous to allow, and it’s been going on too long. We just have to stop right now–using them in dry areas. It’s too dangerous. Ask the Fire Department what they think. I’m sure they agree with that.
Transient accommodations tax: If elected to serve, what would you do to ensure that Maui keeps its share of the Transient Accommodations Tax? Answer: If it means fighting Honolulu, I’m here for the fight anyway. Whatever I have to do to keep money on Maui is what I’m going to do–whatever it takes. I believe that the outer islands account for a third of the population of Hawaii and I bet we don’t get a third of the budget. I don’t know that for sure, but I’d bet on it. Anyway, I’d fight to get as much as we can from the state and keep whatever we can keep on Maui.
Water: What are your plans to improve wastewater treatment on Maui and your thoughts about injection wells? Answer: I heard Charmaine say the other day–and she campaigned on improving the injection wells, and then said it cost too much money to do it. How much do our reefs cost? What’s our ocean worth? If it costs a few more bucks to improve to R-1 our injection wells, I say we do our best to eliminate any danger to our reefs. But if it means upgrading injection wells, I’ll upgrade them, or eliminate them.
Closing thoughts: My website is milbournformayor.com and then I’m continually upgrading my website. If you’re a disgruntled Maui voter, I’m your guy. Let’s go get ‘em.