CANDIDATE SPOTLIGHT: Mike White – Council, Makawao-Haʻikū-Pāʻia
By Maui Now Staff
Mike White is a candidate for the County Council, Makawao-Haʻikū-Pāʻia seat. He is among a list of four individuals identified as candidates on the 2014 ballot.
The complete list of candidates (in alphabetical order) includes: Alex Haller; Henry P Kahula Jr.; Mike J Molina; and Mike White.
Full Name: Mike White
Date and Location of Birth: May 11, 1949; Oʻahu
Current Residence: Olinda
Occupation: General Manager of Kāʻanapali Beach Hotel & Maui County Council Member
Elected offices held, if any: Maui County Council, 2011-present; served in the Hawaiʻi State Legislature, 1993-1998
Education: Bachelors from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, School of Travel Industry Management
Community Involvement: Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association – Treasurer, Founding Member, Board of Directors – 2005 to present; Hawai‘i Employers Council – Board of Governors – 2001 to present; Hawaiʻi Hotel & Lodging Association – Board of Directors – 2000 to present; Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority – Hawaiian Cultural Program Advisory Council – 2004 to present; University of Hawaiʻi School of Travel Industry Management Advisory Council – 2004 to 2008; Maui Economic Development Board, Board of Directors – 1990 to 2006; University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, Board of Trustees – 1992 to 1999; Maui Food Bank, Honorary Chairman, 1995 and 1996 – Member of the Board – 1999 to 2002; Lahaina Restoration Foundation, Member of Board of Directors – 1989 to 1999; Maui United Way, Director, 1987 & 1988, Campaign Chairman – 1993; Maui Hotel & Lodging Association, President – 1987, Vice President, 1988, 1989, Chairman, 1990, 1991, and member of the Board, 1986 to 1995, Member, 1998 to 2003, Member of the Board 2004-present
Family Status: Married to Whitney White with five grown children
Maui Council Candidate Questionnaire:
1. What is the number one issue facing the district you plan to represent? Why do you feel it warrants special attention and what will you do to resolve the issue? If you have more than one item, please elaborate.
Answer: Although there are many issues facing the district I represent, including road repaving, creating a new Paia bypass, providing public safety and additional park space, I firmly believe the overarching concern today, continues to be the economy and job creation. Many residents are still facing significant challenges, including unemployment, underemployment and coping with rising costs. Although we are doing better than just a few years ago, our economy has yet to fully recover, and it is important to be cautious.
In my opinion, to encourage long-term economic growth, the County cannot continually burden residents and businesses with additional property taxes and fees. Therefore, as Chair of the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee, I led the discussion to reduce property taxes over 9% from the proposed Budget and flattened most County fee increases for Fiscal Year 2015. Adequate job training and development for the community must also be provided, which I specifically supported with a $200,000 appropriation to assist residents and businesses.
The state of Maui County’s economy must continually be monitored and addressed. I promise that tackling this issue will continue to one of my top priorities. I offer decades of experience in business, a strong legislative track record, both at the county and state level, and over 28 years of commitment to Maui’s community. I believe this experience puts me in a strong position to make informed decisions and address the County’s fiscal challenges with compassion and balance. After all, a strong economy equals a strong Maui County community.
2. What are your thoughts on Genetically Modified Organisms and do you foresee a compromise in the longstanding debate between agricultural use of GMOs and environmental concerns?
Answer: I believe a win-win compromise is needed to settle the debate between agricultural use of GMOs and both environmental and health concerns. There are valid concerns on both sides of the issue and we must find our way to common ground. We live in a small, tight-knit community and we cannot allow this one issue tear us apart. I hope we can find a workable solution in the near future.
At the time of this questionnaire, this issue is being actively discussed before the Council in the form of a citizen’s initiative. Like every other pending matter, I feel it is most appropriate to hear from both sides on the issue and gather as much facts as possible to understand what can be done. I believe the electorate, however, will ultimately have a strong voice on the question of how this issue will be settled.
***Candidate spotlight segments were compiled as a public service to further educate and inform Maui voters about the upcoming primary election on August 9, 2014, and the general election on November 4, 2014. The questionnaires were distributed via mail following the primary election candidate filing deadline for select races affecting Maui County. The responses do not reflect the opinion or position of Maui Now or Pacific Media Group.