Mayor Hosts Pāʻia Community Budget Meeting
By Wendy Osher
The next in a series of community budget meetings takes place tonight in Pāʻia.
Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa and his administration are hosting the meetings to gather public input on the upcoming Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget.
Today’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at the Pāʻia Community Center.
The final community budget meeting in the series takes place this Thursday, Oct. 23 at 3 p.m., Lānaʻi Senior Center.
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.
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.