Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most recently asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: I am concerned about the growing homeless camp by the fence bordering the wildlife sanctuary at Kanaha Pond. There’s already been one fire there this past week. There shouldn’t be anybody camping there, since it’s such a fragile environment, with endangered birds and native plants. Can anything be done to keep people out of there?
A: Yes, however the encampment at Kanaha Pond is especially challenging because I believe it is situated on private property. We are contacting the property owner to work with them as we cannot arbitrarily enter the property without the land owner’s permission. You do ask a very good question about an issue that spreads far beyond Kanaha Pond, as our community’s homeless population is growing and so are the complaints. My office has been working on a number of bills that should help law enforcement better address some of the homeless problems. We also want to make it easier for people to build ohana units or extensions to their home so that there are more options for long-term rentals. And finally, we want to give more money to our social services and non-profit organizations that have the knowledge and experience to work with the homeless one-on-one; these groups have the expertise but need more resources. These are short-term solutions designed to tackle this problem immediately. In the meantime, the Maui Homeless Alliance, a newly formed organization, will work on longer-term solutions. Thank you for raising this very important issue that impacts our entire community.
Dear Mayor Arakawa,
Q: My 6-year-old son loves going to all the Maui County pools. However, lately he has asked, “Mom, why is that lady’s butt hanging out?” The woman was wearing a thong. In the last year we families (others have noticed besides myself) have seen an increase in young women, ages teen to 35, wearing scantily clad thong bikini bottoms as well as a few tops just barely covering nipples. I know swimwear cannot be dictated on the beach but shouldn’t our Maui County pools be more family-friendly and respectful for Maui’s young children? This isn’t Las Vegas after all!
A: We are very glad that you and your son enjoy our pools, thank you for your patronage. Our county pools do have clothing restrictions but not the kind to which you are referring. Swimmers can’t wear cut-off jeans, cotton shirts or other street clothes because those materials cause serious problems for our filters. Swimsuits should be made from Lycra, nylon or other filter-safe materials. While Maui has an indecent exposure law, to my knowledge neither the County Code nor Parks rules dictate the style or coverage of bathing suit attire at County pools. Aquatics staff do have to inform some international visitors who don’t know they shouldn’t change into their swimsuit in the pool area, and should use the restrooms instead. Other than that however, under current County policy it is up to parents to decide what is appropriate or inappropriate for their own children to wear at the pool just as it is up to adults to decide what they want to wear. You may want to use the opportunity with your son to teach him about your views of modesty and appropriate attire.
Q: Is it true that I can place a vehicle into “Storage” with the DMV and still retain my ownership rights, yet have taxes waived, while my vehicle is down for repairs?
A: Yes. If you will not be using your registered vehicle for a period of time, you may place your vehicle in an official “storage” status. By doing so, you will be exempt from payment of future registration fees and taxes. If your vehicle is down for repairs but you have not placed your vehicle in “storage” status, you are still responsible for paying the vehicle’s annual taxes and applicable fees even if the vehicle is not being used. To place your vehicle in official “Storage” status, you must submit a completed “Statement for Storage” form, surrender the vehicle’s current license plates and emblem, submit your current Certificate of Registration, and pay the appropriate fees if registration is not current. The fees will be determined by the Customer Service Representative. The vehicle’s registration will be stamped “Storage” to indicate the license plates have been surrendered and the vehicle is in an official “Storage” status. For more info or to access the storage form online, visit www.mauicounty.gov/DMVL and click on “Motor Vehicle Information,” then click on “Storing or Junking a Vehicle.”
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.