By Wendy Osher
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa was among the Maui officials who responded today to news of the recently confirmed sale of the island of Lana’i by releasing a statement this afternoon.
He first thanked longtime majority owner David Murdock of Castle & Cooke saying:
“First of all I would just like to say how it has been an honor and a privilege to work with Mr. Murdock. His compassion for the people of Lana`i is to be admired and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Senator J. Kalani English (District 6- Hana, East and Upcountry Maui, Moloka‘i, Lana‘i, and Kaho‘olawe) responded with similar sentiment saying:
“First and foremost I would like to express my appreciation to Mr. Murdock for his efforts in sustaining the island over these past two decades. His compassion and commitment the community of Lana‘i have not gone unnoticed.”
Governor Neil Abercrombie earlier today confirmed the island transaction from Castle & Cooke to Oracle Corporation co-founder and chief executive officer, Lawrence Ellison for an undisclosed price.
While the governor expressed positive sentiment over the new owner, Mayor Arakawa reserved judgement one way or the other, providing the following statement:
“In terms of the new buyer we can only say that we look forward to meeting Mr. Ellison and hope that by working together with him and the state that we may be able to do good things for Lana`i and its people.”
Sen. English also expressed hopes in learning more about Ellison’s plans saying:
“I look forward to new ownership under Lawrence Ellison and I am interested in learning more about his vision. I also look forward to the transition in owners and to a healthy and vibrant Lana‘i community once again.”
As word of the potential sale circulated this week, many with ties to the island expressed concerns over potential impacts on the island and lack of community input in the process.
Sen. English said:
“Over the past year, the uncertainty of the potential sale has left many on the island and in the state concerned about its impact on residents. With this stated, I am pleased to hear of the sale between Castle & Cooke and Lawrence Ellison.”
The County of Maui owns 195.98 acres in Lana`i with the assessed value of $7,939,700 and leases 21.43 acres from Castle & Cooke with the assessed value of $7,848,000.
Castle & Cook’s David Murdock, meantime, owns 97-98% of the island’s 141 square miles. Various media reports leading up to the sale had placed a price tag of the island in the ballpark of $600 million; but the sale price from today’s PUC filing was not disclosed.