County of Maui News Release
On the Nov. 6 general election ballots, Maui County residents voted in favor of an initiative that makes it easier for residents of remote communities like Molokai to give their testimony during county council meetings held in Wailuku.
Dec. 6 marked the first time the council and its committees began accepting oral testimony from council district offices in Hana, Lanai and Molokai, for council and council committee meetings.
“Making these remote testimony sites available will allow a broader cross-section of our county’s communities to be heard without having to travel to Wailuku,” said Council Chair Danny Mateo. The recent Charter amendment related to interactive communications access, and was passed on Nov. 6.
“The vote confirms that the people of our county recognize we are all in this together, and that the people of Hana and Lanai, and my neighbors in Molokai, should more easily be able to voice their opinions to the Council,” said Mateo.
The Council acted quickly following the election to put into place remote testimony sites it had been working on for some time.
Initially, access to the meeting in the Council Chamber will be accommodated by telephone from each of the district offices, which will serve as remote testimony sites. The district offices are located at the Hana Community Center, the Lanai Community Center, and 100 Ainoa Street, Kaunakakai, Molokai. These communities should be aware that other district office services cannot be available while oral testimony is being accommodated, due to limited facility size, staffing, and other constraints.
As before, the Council and its committees will accept written testimony on an item at any time.
The Council’s Economic Development, Agriculture, and Recreation Committee was the first to receive testimony from remote testimony sites at its meeting on Dec. 6. The procedure continued at the council meeting on Dec. 7 and thereafter for meetings held in the Chamber. “We welcome the communities’ participation from these remote testimony sites,” said Mateo, “and ask for everyone’s patience as we continue to improve our interactive capabilities along the way.”
The meetings are open to the public. Meeting agendas are available on the county website. To receive meeting agendas via e-mail, please complete the online subscription form on the County website at www.mauicounty.gov.