Maui News

Lt. Governor Signs $1 Lease for Office Space on Maui

June 19, 2013, 2:41 PM HST
* Updated June 20, 1:15 PM
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Mayor picks up the tab for rent.  Photo courtesy: Lois Whitney, Office of Mayor Alan Arakawa.

Mayor offers to pick up the tab for rent. Photo courtesy: Lois Whitney, County of Maui.

By Wendy Osher

Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui signed a $1 lease agreement with the mayor, which allows him to utilize office space at the County Building for the next 18 months, officials said.

The agreement provides temporary office space for the lt. governor to work and meet with constituents while on his home island of Maui.

The 41-year-old Maui resident left his prior position as state Senate president, when he succeeded to the lt. governor’s office late last year.

He filled the vacancy created by the selection of former lt. gov. Brian Schatz to the late US Senator Daniel K. Inouye’s vacated post.

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In accepting the post last year, Lt. Gov. Tsutsui said he would split his time living on Oʻahu and Maui, and had hopes that a neighbor island office would provide greater access to residents.

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In March, Hawaiʻi News Now reported that funding for the office was contained in an emergency appropriations bill that had called for $105,000 in office renovations on Maui, and $85,000 for additional security for the lt. governor.

The newly announced $1 lease is good through December 31, 2014, and was approved by the Maui County Corporation Counsel and the state’s attorney-general prior to being authorized by the Maui County Council via resolution, a county press release stated.

“This is a great partnership between the county and state and an excellent service for the people of Maui, who can now get access to their local government in one building,” said Lieutenant Governor Shan Tsutsui in a statement. “Having this additional office on Maui will allow our administration to improve interactions with constituents outside of Oʻahu.”

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Moments after signing the agreement last Thursday, Mayor Arakawa reportedly reached for his wallet, and shared laughter with the lt. governor as he offered to pay the $1 rent for the term of the lease, which ends December 31, 2014, county official said.

“Heck, I’ll even foot the bill for you,” the mayor reportedly said. “I’m just glad we will be able to work more closely with you on joint county-state projects, and that as neighbors we can collaborate in new ways.”

***Supporting information courtesy County of Maui, Office of the Mayor.

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