Members of the Maui County Council organized leadership for the upcoming 2011-2013 term. Danny Mateo will continue to chair the council, while Joseph Pontanilla will serve as both Vice Chair (currently held by Michael Molina who reaches his term limit this year) and Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, (a position he has held since 2005).
Mateo has held the council’s Molokai residency seat since 2002 and was re-elected earlier this month. Pontanilla has served as the Kahului representative since first being elected to the council eight years ago.
All council members, except Chair Mateo, will lead the council’s various committees.
During their upcoming third terms, Upcountry Councilmember Gladys Baisa will lead the new General Plan Committee, and Wailuku Councilman Michael Victorino will return as chair of the Water Resources Committee.
Three freshmen council members will also chair committees as well. Elle Cochran of West Maui will chair the Infrastructure Management Committee, Don Couch of South Maui will chair the Planning Committee, and Mike White of Makawao will chair the Economic Development, Agriculture and Recreation Committee.
Returning to the Council after hiatuses are Riki Hokama of Lanai, who will chair the Policy Committee, and Robert Carroll of East Maui, who will chair the Land Use Committee.
The council is expected to formally adopt the resolution for the new organization at a meeting in the Council Chambers at 2 p.m. on January 3, 2011, following the Council inauguration at 10 a.m. New Council terms for the 2011-2013 session begin on January 2, 2011.
“I am gratified by the faith placed in me by both new and returning Council members,” said Mateo in a news release. “In my discussions with my colleagues about the upcoming term, I have been impressed with their uniform commitment to working as a team,” he said.
“We all agree that improving the economy is our priority. I think we have the right attitude, and I am excited to build on the steady progress of the last couple of years with out new group,” said Mateo.
(Posted by Wendy Osher, Information courtesy County of Maui)