Mayor Unveils New Format for Budget Meetings
By Maui Now Staff
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa joins his administration in hosting a series of community meetings in September and October to receive public comment on the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.
Department directors and staff at the meetings will be available at tables to meet with members of the public and hear budget-related needs.
Attendees will be given a form upon arrival at the meeting to determine their needs, and which department their comments pertain.
“Not everyone is comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, especially when a microphone is set up in the hall,” said Mayor Arakawa in a press release announcement. “This new discussion format will help the community meetings run more effectively by allowing people to share their comments with our County staff in a more direct and time-efficient manner,” he said.
The meeting in each community will begin with an overview by Mayor Arakawa and Budget Director Sandy Baz, followed by approximately one hour for attendees to submit comments at the various department tables. To close the evening, the group will be reconvened so that the Mayor and Budget Director can provide a recap of the issues that were raised by attendees.
Budget meeting times and locations are as follows:
- West Maui: Monday, Sept. 15, 2014 at 5 p.m., Lahaina Civic Center
- Molokaʻi: Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014 at 3 p.m., Home Pumehana Center (Located at Hale Mahaolu; 290 Kolapa Pl., Kaunakakai)
- East Maui: Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014 at 4:45 p.m., Helene Social Hall
- South Maui: Monday, Oct. 6, 2014 at 5 p.m., Kīhei Community Center
- Upcountry: Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 at 5 p.m., Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center, Social Hall
- Central Maui: Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 at 5 p.m., Velma Santos (Wailuku) Community Center
- Pāʻia/Haʻikū: Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 at 5 p.m., Pāʻia Community Center
- Lānaʻi: Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014 at 3 p.m., Lānaʻi Senior Center
Mayor Arakawa said suggestions from the public will help the administration prioritize what is best for the community, and enable better understanding of how to better serve Maui County residents.
Authorities say input from the community meetings will be taken into consideration when the administration constructs the fiscal year 2015-2016 budget.
Prior to the start of select budget meetings, staff members with the office of the Community Development Bock Grant program will conduct hearings. The Block Grant briefings will be held 15 minutes prior to the start of meetings in East Maui, Molokaʻi, Central Maui and Lānaʻi.
The Community Development Block Grant is a federal program created by Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. Funds that are received are utilized for housing and community development needs, primarily benefiting individuals with low and moderate income.