I know, I know, the thrill and excitement of community budget meetings is just too much for most people to handle. But County of Maui officials are saying hold on, they’ve revamped the annual series of meetings, where they go on the road to various locations around the county and ask people what they want the next budget to look like.
“As a new feature this year to the Mayor’s annual community Budget meetings, tables will be set up to allow directors and staff from each County department to meet with members of the public, hear budget-related needs, listen to concerns and answer questions about various County-related issues,” states an Aug. 20, 2014 county news release. “Attendees will be given a form upon arrival at the meeting to determine their needs, and which department(s) their comments pertain to.”
This actually is novel–letting residents go directly to department heads and staff and ask for stuff. And what’s more, residents will get an hour to visit the various department heads.
“Not everyone is comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, especially when a microphone is set up in the hall,” Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa said in that Aug. 20 news release, a few weeks before he reportedly had some trouble speaking before the County Council on trash appropriations. “This new discussion format will help the community meetings run more effectively by allowing people to share their comments with our County staff in a more direct and time-efficient manner.”
The first meeting using the new format takes place on Monday, Sept. 15 at 5pm on the Westside at the Lahaina Civic Center. Here’s the schedule for the rest of the meetings:
MOLOKAI: Thursday, Sept. 25 (3pm) at Home Pumehana Center
EAST MAUI: Monday, Sept. 30 (5pm) at Helene Social Hall
SOUTH MAUI: Monday, Oct. 6 (5pm) at Kihei Community Center
UPCOUNTRY: Wednesday, Oct. 8 (5pm) at Mayor Hannibal Tavares Community Center
CENTRAL MAUI: Thursday, Oct. 9 (5pm) at Velma Santos Community Center
PAIA/HAIKU: Monday, Oct. 20 (5pm) at Paia Community Center
LANAI: Thursday, Oct. 23 (3pm) at Lanai Senior Center
For more information, call the county’s Budget Office at 808-270-7855.
Photo: Sage Ross (WMF)/Wikimedia Commons