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Ask the Mayor: Why Do You Even Have a Weekly Column?

January 1, 2018, 10:08 AM HST · Updated January 1, 10:08 AM
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Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff.

Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, (808) 270-7855 or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.

Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.

Mr. Mayor,

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Q: With all due respect, why do you even have a weekly “Ask the Mayor” column? With all the issues facing the county—from financial crisis to crumbling infrastructure to unfunded pension funds—you answer three questions on traffic in subdivisions, overgrown bushes in neighborhoods and a bill about smoking in vehicles.

A: We started “Ask the Mayor” because my staff kept getting the same questions over and over again. We thought if we shared the answers with the community, we could talk to everyone at the same time and share those answers instead of repeating ourselves.

Since we started this column in 2013, it has been very well received and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading the column so faithfully.

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My staff and I answer as many of the submitted questions as possible. Some of them are easier to answer than others and some of the answers take longer to find, but we do our best to answer them with guidance from our department personnel—experts in their respective fields.

Yes, infrastructure in the county is crumbling in some areas, which is why we actually do answer infrastructure-related questions in this column on a regular basis.

Yes, we do have unfunded pension funds, but out of all the counties in the state, Maui County has had the best track record of making payments to the Employees Retirement System.

Last but not least, keep in mind the header printed with each column: “Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies.” So feel free to submit a “real” question about a specific county issue that affects you or your neighborhood, and we will do our best to answer it. Aloha.

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