Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Why are the Hookipa Beach Park bathrooms still closed? They’ve been closed since June 2014. Hookipa was voted third-most visited place, behind the crater and the road to Hana! C’mon Mayor! Give Hookipa our bathrooms back.
A: Our Parks department has been working diligently on getting the Hookipa restrooms back up and running, and is currently awaiting the arrival of a new booster pump that had to be fabricated overseas. The purpose of the pump is to get the water flow/sewage pumped back up to the main sewer lines adjacent to Hana Highway. Yes, it’s taken a while, but the repair needs to be done right so we don’t have any sewage backing up in the bay. Thanks for everyone’s patience in the interim; once the booster pump arrives it won’t be long before the toilets can be flushed again.
Q: I recently received a ticket for wearing my seatbelt shoulder strap under my armpit. The ticket has no box to check, other than “No seatbelt.” Should I have been fined? From what I have read in the rules of the road book, no law is stated. Thank you.
A: According to the interpretation of the law, draping your seatbelt over your shoulder does not constitute proper restraint. Hawaii Revised Statute §291-11.6 (“Mandatory use of seat belts”) states that the driver and all passengers in an operating motor vehicle must be “restrained by a seat belt assembly” (or by a child safety seat if under 8 years of age), and “restrained” means that the seat belt assembly is “worn as it was designed and intended to be worn.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides the following information on proper seat belt use: “A shoulder harness is worn across the shoulder and chest with minimal, if any slack. The shoulder harness should NOT be worn under the arm or behind the back.” In this context, improper use of a seat belt not only violates HRS §291-11.6 but also puts the seat belt wearer at risk for serious internal injuries in the event of a crash.
Dear Mayor Arakawa:
Q: Congratulations on your re-election. Well-deserved and great for our county. My question is in regards to the attached road sign, located on Keolani Place airport access road. The sign is located just at the airport exit, opposite Hemoloa Street. The sign has been vandalized for a number of years now, and has not been repaired or replaced. Can the County replace or repair the sign? Thank you.
A: The sign you’re referring to is the “Preserve America” sign that was awarded to the County back in 2007. Preserve America is a federal initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy cultural and natural heritage. It’s unfortunate that vandals have defaced the sign. Airport officials will assist us with the removal and possible restoration of the vandalized sign. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
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.