Waiheʻe Park Name Change Honoring Caldito Considered
By Wendy Osher
The Maui County Council gave initial approval on Friday to a bill that seeks to rename the Waiheʻe Ball Park on Halewaiu Road to the Richard “Pablo” Caldito Sr. Park.
Caldito was first elected to the Maui County Board of Supervisors in 1956, and continued to serve on the County Council until 1972. He passed away in July 2011 at the age of 98.
In a report to the Council, Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture, & Recreation Committee Vice-Chair, Robert Carroll recapped historical information on Caldito’s life and contributions, as provided by officials with the Public Works Department.
“Mr. Cadito served for 15 years as an elected official for Maui County, becoming the first Filipino-American Democratic candidate to be elected to public office in the nation,” said Carroll.
“Mr. Caldito also impacted the community and young leaders in Maui County through his service in various organizations including the Maui Lions Club, Maui Children’s Home, Maui Adult Day Care Center, and the Maui Filipino Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
The committee recommended passage of the bill during a meeting on June 18, and forwarded the item to the full council for consideration.
“Caldito is a name that’s synonymous with politics,” said Molokai council member Stacy Crivello in testimony today.
“Despite his Maui roots, that grew when he moved here, he was well-known on our island. So I take pride that I am part of this tribute,” she said.
Fellow council member Riki Hokama also spoke in support of the motion saying, “Tata Caldito is one that has been consistent in his leadership. I find that the late Tata Caldito was a gentleman of great integrity.”
He continued, “I thank Tata Caldito for being a pioneer of bravery because it took a lot to stand up in those days regarding the political situation and influences of the Big Five and other factors. I thank his family for sharing a wise and gentle man with all of us.”
Councilmember Michael Victorino described Caldito as a mentor, saying he was the recipient of that mentorship in the insurance industry, in politics, and the community at large.
Council Chair Gladys Baisa said Caldito provided “loving advice” and said there’s “a puka (hole)” at Filipino events since his passing. “This is our way of bringing him to the forefront and remembering all he did for us,” she said.
The measure passed unanimously 8-0 with one member excused.
In other Council action today, members voted on the following:
- Approved appointment of Josiah Nishita as Deputy County Clerk, in a unanimous 8-0 vote. Nishita is a legislative analyst with an MBA from the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaiʻi. His appointment takes effect on Aug. 1.
- Maui resident Fred Ruge was recognized in Council today for winning 2013 Salute to Senior Service Contest for the State of Hawaiʻi.