VIDEO: Mike Victorino – Candidate Profile 2012July 24, 2012, 12:39 PM HST · Updated October 17, 11:47 AM 0 Comments
Interview and transcription by Wendy Osher
INTRO: Tell us about yourself and your campaign.
Aloha. This is councilman Mike Victorino. It is an honor to be here today to talk to the people of Maui County. A few facts about myself: I was born and raised in Hilo. Now, for the past 39 years, I’ve seen my children grow up here, my grandchildren grow up here. I’ve been active in the community in many areas–with the Maui County Fair, the Boy Scouts of America, the PTA, Little League, many sports activities, and in the past few years, have been active as the Councilman from the Wailuku/Waihe’e community, and also the Board of Water Supply when I served five years on that commission. I also served two years as the Board of Education member representing Maui County.
Question 1: What is the biggest problem facing Maui today, and what can you do as a council member to address this issue?
Well, there are many issues that face Maui, but I think that some of the more important ones is economic opportunity and the ability to preserve as well as grow together. I think these are some of the bigger challenges that Maui County face. How do we continue to have opportunities for our people to live and raise their families here, and preserve the lifestyle we so richly deserve? For myself as a council member, we have worked very diligently on some very important landmark ordinances such as: the vacation rentals, short term rentals, the B&Bs; we’ve also worked in the areas of trying to develop economic opportunities like the film industry; enhancing our tremendous visitor and hospitality industry that has been a mainstay of Maui County. There are many other areas that we need to work on, but these would be some of the major areas that I would like to continue to put forth good programs so that we can protect and enhance our islands. The other thing that I think we have to continue to work at is keeping government and government costs–keeping government and government growth–in check. In other words, let us not continue to grow, but like businesses, let’s become more efficient, more organized, and better prepared to serve our clientele, which is our constituents, here in Maui County. So these, to me, are the big, important issues that we face over the next decade.
Question 2: Do you support or oppose the Waiale Development in Central Maui? Why or why not?
The Waiale Development, in my mind, is a huge development which still needs a lot of work. I know we need homes, but we’ve already been promised many in this area, especially Central Maui. So, I am concerned that continued growth without a definitive plan could be very detrimental to our infrastructure, our water supply–all these other issues–schools, and police and fire protection become very paramount. For me, supporting the project with reservations is where I stand right now. I want to see development, but I want smart quality development, so that our young people can continue to live and raise their families here. We need parks, we need schools, we need all of these amenities that are so important as we grow as a community. For myself, right now, Waiale is one of those issues that I think we will be taking up very soon in the council, and will continue to look very diligently to make it a real positive–with green and with all the other items that we believe should be a part of any development here in Maui County.
Question 3: What makes Maui such a special place and what will you do as a council member to ensure protection and preservation of the island lifestyle?
Maui has always been a special place in all of our hearts. I grew up many years spending my summers, like Wendy, here, with our families–and we’ve seen Maui change from an agriculture to a hospitality-based industry. But we’ve got to preserve our open space. We’ve got to preserve our beaches. I’m proud to say that this council was able to buy Ka’ehu Bay, down here in Waihe’e, and preserve 65 acres of open space that today will guarantee for future generations, an area for which we can use for culture, as well as other means to preserve and enhance the quality of life. We need to do that in other areas, such as the Puamana corridor–open space between Ukumehame and Puamana, so that we can keep the beaches, keep these parks for our residents, as well as our visitors. Our visitors enjoy this quality of life that we so enjoy, so it’s important, in my mind, to continue to work on preservation of open spaces; making sure that sustainable energy and sustainable agriculture continues to thrive; and most importantly, making sure opportunities for our young people in a diverse economy is there–that way, they can look forward to enjoying the quality of life that I, and our forefathers enjoyed.
Again, this is Councilman Mike Victorino. I’m running for the Wailuku/Waihe’e/Waikapu seat. Every person throughout the county is eligible to vote. If you need to contact me, you can contact me on my cell (808) 281-9053, or my website at mikevictorino.aol.com. Mahalo.