Maui Election

Former Maui Councilmember Molina Responds to Term Limit Challenge

June 15, 2018, 9:19 AM HST
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Michael Molina introduced the Plastic Bag Ban in Maui County. Photo by Wendy Osher.

On June 12, 2018, a challenge was submitted to the County Clerk relating to Section 3.2.5, Maui County Revised Charter (1989), which establishes term limits at five consecutive full terms as member of the County of Maui County Council.

The challenge stated that former Councilmember Mike Molina “has served the maximum amount of terms for this office.”

Accordingly, Molina indicated that he supports the creation of term limits which allows for new minds and fresh ideas to be incorporated into the decision making process.  “Term limits allow more opportunities for a variety of leadership in the community.  Term limits open the door for younger individuals to get involved and brings new talent to the table,” said Molina.

Molina made reference to the 1991-1992 Charter Commission Report which recommended term limits and also discussed the option of Councilmembers seeking additional terms once they achieved the five consecutive term limit.

Accordingly, the 1991-1992 Charter Commission Report to the County Council noted the following: “The commission found merit in the recommendation that a limitation be placed on the number of consecutive terms that a council member can serve.”

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Furthermore, the Charter Commission stated:  “Under the recommended change, a council member would be prohibited from running for a council seat after five consecutive terms but could run again after the lapse of at least one term.”

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Therefore, consistent with the desires of the original Charter Commission that recommended term limits, Molina said, “it’s my belief that the Commission fully vetted the question of Councilmembers seeking re-election after the lapse of at least one term,” said Molina. “My seeking election to the Pāʻia, Makawao, Haʻikū Council seat, after a break in service is consistent with the intent of the Charter Commission recommendation.”

Former Councilmember Mike Molina is seeking election to his old seat in 2018, an area that he represented from 2001 to 2011, when he was termed out at five consecutive terms.

Molina is perhaps best known for the introduction and sponsorship of the Plastic Bag Ban that was passed in 2008 and took effect in 2010. Maui County was the first County in the State Of Hawaiʻi to pass single use plastic bags in the state. Now all counties have implemented some form of Plastic Bag restriction. “This ground breaking legislation has made a valuable impact on Maui’s beaches, Parks and roadways, said Molina. No more do you see plastic bags flying in the wind, hanging on trees or polluting the ocean.”

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Molina also introduced and sponsored far reach affordable housing legislation, including: 1. the First Time Homebuyers Program that assisted individuals with grants to help with down payment and closing cost assistance; 2) the Affordable Housing Fund which utilizes a portion of real property tax revenue to provide affordable housing; 3) the affordable accessory dwelling bill that would allow property owners with properties of less than 7,500 square feet to build an ʻohana to house family or persons of low income. This initiative did not pass but is still being deliberated at the Council level.

Other legislation that Molina initiated included increasing safety zones around schools to enhance pedestrian and student safety. Supporters say Molina was also known for his effectiveness is seeking revenue for road repair in his district and supporting public safety improvements in other districts throughout the County. Molina also introduced the reef fish aquarium bill that placed restrictions on businesses that collected reef fish for aquarium purposes to help preserve our valuable reef systems.

“My first 10 years on the Council was very productive, it was my goal to try to make Maui, our
home, a better place for our children,” said Molina. “I would like the opportunity to continue to make
Maui a place that our families can afford and a place that is preserved for future generations.”

“I would also like to bring an air of cooperation back to the Council; the current Council has been
very divided and confrontational,” said Molina. “The better we work together and the more we respect
we give to one another, the more effective we can be in representing our constituents.”

Molina said he believes that with his experience, legislative success and knowledge of the functioning of government, he can continue to lead Maui County in a positive direction.

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