Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Good morning Mr. Mayor,
Q: I am curious as to who is responsible for the cleanliness of restaurants in Maui County. Would it be the State or the County Health Departments? I’m talking about those that have the green pass certificates displayed mainly. The reason I’m asking is ever since we have lived here, we have enjoyed the many different restaurants on the island. The problem is if you need to use the restroom, some are so gross, you wouldn’t want to use them unless you have a steam cleaner strapped to your back. Because of this situation, my wife and I have quit going to some even though we like the food. Just curious!
A: You can contact the State of Hawaii Dept. of Health (DOH), Maui District Health Office. The DOH’s Sanitation Branch, Environmental Health Program provides direct services in Sanitation, Vector Control and Food Safety Education. Services include food permits and inspections, milk safety, public swimming pools, tattoo and mortuary inspections, rodent and mosquito consultations and monitoring of nuisance vectors and new vector-borne diseases. To reach the Maui office of the Food Sanitation program, call 984-8230.
Q: I live on Omaopio Road and every so often I see a County truck at the yellow water pipes “draining” water. It has got to be hundreds (if not thousands) of gallons of water pouring down the road. What is the purpose for this? Can this water be used in other ways? It just seems very wasteful. Thank you for clearing this up. Aloha.
A: Regulated flushing helps prevent water from stagnating in dead-end locations by scouring the inside of the pipe, removing sediments, including built-up silt and biofilms, maintaining chlorine residuals, and clearing the system of any discolored water. Department of Water Supply technicians conduct the flushing for water quality purposes, but the amount of water that is flushed is different for each site depending on the location of the hydrant/standpipe in relation to the main line. Calculations were done to determine the flushing time needed to move the water from the main line to each hydrant/standpipe. Unfortunately, it would be extremely costly and impractical to collect the flushed water in a tanker, which would require a tanker truck, driver, flag-man and technician; this represents three vehicles, three employees and numerous additional work hours to flush one hydrant. The water also cannot be flushed onto an adjacent property due to the speed of the flowing water, which could damage landscaping or create other problems.
Q: I would love to submit a new license plate design for Hawaiian plates (replacing the current rainbow one). Hawaii is a place of rich tradition and beauty and I would love to find a way to combine those two in a visually appealing way. Please let me know who I should reach out to, to submit my idea(s). Thank you for your time and help.
A: The State-issued plates will probably not be redesigned for a long time. Our Hawaii license plates are designed and overseen by the State, and although the current rainbow design has been in use since 1991, there have not been any discussions about replacing the design. According to our Maui County DMVL office, the current number combinations are still far from expiring, which would be the determining factor in when a redesign should occur. It should also be noted that a future redesign will cost the state a pretty penny, and any time the plate is redesigned/renumbered, all the vanity plates are reset as well. The design is mandated by Hawaii Revised Statutes, which specify that the plates must (1) Bear the word “Hawaii” along the upper portion of the plate and the words “Aloha State” along the lower portion of the plate; (2) Have a distinct contrast between the color of the plate and the numerals and letters thereon; and (3) Be of such shape, size, and color, and with such arrangements of letters and numbers as may, subject to sections 249-1 to 249-13, be determined by the directors of finance of each county through majority consent. So the only elements that Maui County has control over are the numbers and letters, not the design.
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.