Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: I’ve been hearing so many different things about the GMO ballot initiative, but I’m more confused than ever. I’d like to be better educated on the facts before I head to the polls on election day. How can I get a copy of the entire bill so I can read the proposed legislation myself? Also, does a blank vote for the ballot initiative count as a non-vote, or a “No” vote?
A: A blank vote for the voter initiative questions counts as exactly that: a non-vote. You can read the full text of the proposed bill at www.mauicounty.gov/Clerk; scroll down to the “Election Responsibilities” tab and click on “Public Notice 2014 Charter Amendments and Voter Initiative” (English or Ilocano). Hard copies are also available at the County Clerk’s Office on the 7th floor of the County Building, and at the front desk of my office on the 9th floor of the County Building. And you’re right: It’s important that you read the language of this proposed bill carefully so you can make your own determination on the merit of the bill and cast an informed vote.
Q: What is the statute for turning your headlights on during nighttime driving? I notice many drivers in Maui drive well after dark with either no lights or fog lights only. Yesterday at 7:30 p.m. I saw two highway construction trucks driving with only fog lights. This type of driving is dangerous.
A: I agree with you that driving without headlights when it’s dark is extremely dangerous. According to Maui County Code Chapter 10.20.020, which mirrors Section 291-25 of the Hawaii Revised Statues (HRS), “every vehicle upon a highway within this county at any time from a half hour after sunset to a half hour before sunrise [….] shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices.” Headlights must also be used during times when, “due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions, persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of five hundred feet ahead.” The HRS lists a fine of $47 for a violation. Allowance is made for alternate lighting in lieu of headlights, provided that they are capable of revealing persons and objects 75 feet ahead and that “at no time shall [the motor vehicle] be operated at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour” (10.20.030). Some folks may simply forget or think their lights were already on, but others may be driving under the influence. For this reason, motorists should not hesitate to call for police service should they notice a car or motorcycle driving without headlights.
Q: Kahului, Maui has a serious mosquito problem! Almost every establishment you enter, you find yourself swatting and fighting mosquitoes. Where is Maui’s mosquito abatement plan? Kahului Airport is an open air terminal and the mosquitoes are everywhere. What’s your plan to save us?
A: Yes, I personally witnessed the increase in mosquitos throughout town and up into Wailuku but am happy to report that thanks to measures taken by various community partners, this issue may already have been resolved. The State Dept. of Transportation, Maui Airports Division reports that it worked with HC&S to take additional measures to control mosquito larvae at one particular sugar cane “wash” pond located closer to the Dairy Road area of Kahului. The Dept. of Health, Vector Control, also conducted testing for larvae in other areas to determine where control was most needed. All in all, reports are that the mosquito population in Kahului is back under control. After Tropical Cyclone Ana passes through, we will need to remain watchful to make sure an overgrowth of the pesky biters does not occur again.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.