Last time we checked, the County of Maui Parks Department was a mess. Director Glenn Correa–the subject of a Maui Police investigation into… something–is gone, and the state Attorney General’s office is currently looking into the department for… something. We tried to ask new Parks chief Brianne Savage, but she refused to sit down with us “until things are a bit more settled,” whenever that might be.
In the mean time, the cleanliness and maintenance of our county’s parks remains something of a problem. But fear not! At least one of the Maui County Councilmembers has noticed, too, that county parks could really use some TLC. And this councilmember–Don Guzman–has a plan to fix it.
You. That’s right: Guzman wants to draft a legion of park volunteers who will go in and do what needs to be done.
“I’ve received an overwhelming amount of requests from park users for opportunities to give back and provide care for the park facilities they utilize,” Guzman said in a July 24 County Council news release. “Having the ability for organizations to adopt a park under the guidance of the Parks Department, will instil [sic] a sense of pride and responsibility among members of the community.”
According to the text of Guzman’s bill, the new “Park Volunteer Program” would “allow volunteers, volunteer groups, and donors to contribute to the maintenance, preservation, beautification, and improvement of County parks and beaches.” Now if you’re like me, you’re probably thinking at this point that it’s very convenient for the county to have such a Volunteer Program, since a bunch of unpaid volunteers will do the work the taxpayer-funded Parks Department is already supposed to be doing.
But no! See, Guzman’s bill puts it right there in black and white that the “maintenance, preservation, beautification and improvement” done by volunteers “shall complement, and not supplant, the work performed by County employees and contractors.”
See, the “maintenance” performed by unpaid volunteers will be entirely different than that performed by paid Parks Department employees and contractors. It says so right in the bill!
Anyway, the County Council Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee will take up the bill on Tuesday, July 29 at 1:30pm. That hearing will take place at the Council Chamber (8th floor) in the Kalana O Maui building, 200 S. High St., Wailuku.
Photo of Launiupoko Beach Park: Forest & Kim Starr/Wikimedia Commons