As is well reported, the County of Maui has a lot of trouble finding people to sit on its many, many boards and commissions. Everyone wants to sit on the Planning Commission and play around with all those big development projects, but beyond that people are hesitant to donate their time and effort.
For the most part, only retirees have the time (and interest) in doing stuff like that. That’s why it’s refreshing to see that the two newest members of the Liquor Control Adjudication Board are at least different than the typical retirees who usually sit on the county’s boards.
First up is Ralph Norio Masuda. Yes, he’s retired, but after 17 years as a vice president with Castle & Cooke (his $300 contribution to County Council Chairman G. Riki Hokama actually got him a brief story in the Jan. 25, 2007 issue of this paper). Prior to working for the biggest landowner on Lanai, Masuda spent 19 years working for the Maui County Mayor’s office and the county Planning Department.
“With experience in county planning and private planning and Development (36 years),” Masuda wrote on his Board/Commission Application Form, “I believe that I can serve on a County Board and/or Commission as a member who is fully aware of government and private industry issues.”
How understanding the meshing of land and power in Maui County will help Masuda decide the guilt or innocence of liquor licenses hauled up on charges is unknown, but maybe the other new member—Jason Harvey Medeiros—can help him.
Medeiros is actually still a working guy—he listed his occupation as server at the Grand Wailea, where he’s worked since 1995. That’s right: Medeiros has at least 13 years first-hand experience actually working under the county’s liquor rules.
Newbie or not, it should be interesting to see how much Medeiros’ new colleagues actually listen to him.