Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Dear Mayor Arakawa,
Q: I previously signed up for the County’s text message alerts but I’ve been bombarded with a lot of notifications recently. Is there a way to limit the types and number of messages I receive?
A: Yes, you can easily manage these notifications through the County’s new emergency alert system, Maka‘ala, which uses the Everbridge system. If you were previously receiving alerts through CivicPlus, you should have received a notice to re-enroll for the Maka‘ala alerts, which allow you to customize the levels of notification you prefer, for which geographic areas, and the manner in which you want to receive alerts (i.e. cell phone call, text, email, fax, landline or all of the above). This way you decide which kind of information you need most. It is recommended, at minimum, to sign up for all Tropical Cyclone and Tsunami notifications as well as warning-level Flood notifications. Just go to www.mauicounty.gov and click on the Maka‘ala link on the far left. If you need help, call Civil Defense at 270-7285 and our Emergency Management staff would be happy to assist you in setting up or managing your account. With two storm systems approaching our islands, you should already be taking steps to prepare such as stockpiling seven days of non-perishable food, water and medications, filling up your gas tanks, making a family emergency plan and clearing your yard of any debris or items that could become airborne missiles in high winds. I know our residents are somewhat fatigued by these kinds of reminders but now is not the time to become complacent. Storm systems in Asia and the Caribbean have already killed more than a dozen people this year, so it is far better to be safe than sorry. Please take needed precautions now, so if and when a storm comes you can stay off the roads. Stay safe everyone, and stay connected.
Q: My ‘ohana of 52 members held a discussion and a family vote about the future of our Maui hospitals, and for a variety of reasons we decided that we are strongly opposed to one of the entities seeking to take over our hospitals. Our question is, who has the final say in the decision, and how can our voices be heard?
A: Governor Ige recently signed into law legislation that opened the door for discussions on Maui’s state-owned hospitals entering into a public-private partnership; the partnership will need to be approved by the governor, the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. (HHSC), and the Maui Memorial Medical Center’s board of directors. Terms and conditions of the partnership are expected to be worked out by the end of the year and the new managing partner could begin operations as early as 2016. Hospital administrators have conducted several meetings leading up to this point, and although input from the community is always welcome, they are not formally requesting testimony during this phase of the process. At this point, much of the analysis required is administrative, with an in-depth look into each entity. Wes Lo, HHSC Maui Region CEO, said that they will “certainly use the testimony received in past town halls, both internal and external to guide our decision making and work towards making the best decision to meet the needs of our community as a whole.” You are welcome to submit comments via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Are there any regulations about starting the engine of a drag racing car on a private property in a neighborhood, which is a heart breaker for us neighbors? They are starting the car and revving it up but then they load it up onto a trailer to move it or take it elsewhere (probably the drag racing location.). Thank you.
A: According to our police department, this could fall under the “disorderly conduct” ordinance. If the noise is unreasonable, you could call police to enforce the law. Remember that police can write the citation but you may still have to follow up if the case goes to court.
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.