Maui News

Mayor Tavares Meets President Obama in Discussion Over Federal Support

January 22, 2010, 3:30 PM HST
* Updated January 25, 8:58 AM
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Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares was among the group of Mayors that had the opportunity to meet with President Barack Obama this week to discuss economic conditions, unemployment, transportation and jobs.
The discussion was part of the Winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors held this week in Washington D.C. During the discussion, President Obama spoke with mayors on the urgent need to create more jobs and invest in communities.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares is greeted by President Barack Obama.  Photo Credit:  U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Mayor Charmaine Tavares is greeted by President Barack Obama. Photo Credit: U.S. Conference of Mayors.

President Obama noted that he enjoys meeting with mayors because it reminds him of where he got his start: “Working with folks at the local level, doing our best to make a real impact on the lives of ordinary Americans — and that’s what each of you does every single day,” said the President.

“You’re the first interaction citizens have with their government when they step outside every morning…It’s just not easy being a mayor. But rarely, if ever, has it been more difficult than it is today. Your constituents are feeling the pain of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression — not to mention an economy that wasn’t working for a lot of them long before this particular crisis hit. Many have lost jobs; many have lost their health care; some maybe even have lost their homes. And they’re looking to you and all of us to regain some sense of economic security. And just when they need more from you, you’re stuck with falling revenues, leaving you with impossible choices that keep mounting up — putting projects on hold,” said President Obama.
Mayor Tavares responded to the President’s remarks, saying that it was an “amazing opportunity to meet with President Obama. His comments really hit home for us as mayors. The President listened to our concerns about the importance of having federal support make its way through to the county level and I feel that he will do his best to make funding available to us without so much of it first going directly to state agencies before trickling to the counties.”

For the full text of President Obama’s remarks and for more information on the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Winter meeting, visit

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Supporting information and Photo provided by the County of Maui)





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