Most people send their holiday wish lists to that diminutive, jelly-bellied arctic toymaker. We know he’s busy, so we’re sending ours to the LC. Obviously folks who fire missives to the North Pole enjoy a much better chance of having their wishes granted, but hey—after a few years of this column, we’re used to disappointment. So here goes:
1. Ditch the dancing rules. Don’t do it because telling people where and when they can bob their heads and tap their toes is a blatant violation of the First Amendment. Don’t do it because it flies in the face of common sense and creates far more problems (a lot) than it solves (none). Do it because dancing is awesome, and trying to police and restrict it makes you guys look like a bunch of out-of-touch curmudgeons who want to spoil everyone’s fun.
2. Make transcripts of your meetings immediately available to the public. Yes, we drag ourselves down to the David K. Trask Building in Wailuku whenever possible to watch the Commission and Adjudication Board do their thing, but how many Mauians can really be expected to take the time mid-week? You already offer pre-meeting agendas, and the meetings are already being transcribed—save for the behind-closed-doors deliberations—so don’t tell us you don’t have the resources. Transparency: it’s a good thing.
3. Embrace judicial oversight. The overarching criticism against you is that you’re a rogue agency; you’re appointed and then let loose on the alcohol sellers of Maui with nary a check or balance. A recent test case on Oahu seemed to open the door for the courts to peek over Liquor Departments’ shoulders. It may not seem like a good thing at first—but in the long run, it’ll be better for everyone. You might even see this column disappear, and that’s probably on your wish list.
– Jacob Shafer