The West Maui Taxpayers Association Annual Meeting on January 9, 2014, once again brought together government officials, the community, developers and non-profit groups to educate and inform the West Maui community of programs, services and projects in the West Maui area.
A short business meeting kicked off the evening which included the Election and Installation of Board Members. Board of Directors for this year are President Don Lehman, Vice President Bob Pure, Treasurer/President Emeritus Joe Pluta, Paul Brown, Dave Ferguson, Jim Hentz, Richard Jarman, Zeke Kalua, Pat Kelly, Gregg Nelson, and John Seebart.
Thank you to the following for their informative remarks: Representative Angus McKelvey, Mayor Alan Arakawa and Council Member Elle Cochran (West Maui).
Mahalo to the following community groups that roll up their sleeves to protect West Maui. They gave a short introduction into their mission and programs, as well as stayed throughout the meeting to answer questions and provide information displays and handouts. These individuals and groups are:
· Liz Foote, Hawaii Field Manager for the Coral Reef Alliance, and the Coordinator of the Ka’anapali Makai Watch program;
· Sandra McGuinness, Maui Coalition Coordinator for Hawai’i Nutrition and Physical Activity Coalition, NPAC;
· Ekolu Lindsey: Director of Polanui Hiu Community Managed Makai Area; and
· Tova Callender: Coordinator of the West Maui Watershed Project, West Maui Ridge to Reef, and West Maui Kumuwai programs.
Special presentations were provided by a number of organizations. We thank them for providing an update to the community on their respective projects –
· Bob Pure, Vice-President, WMTA, provided an update on transportation issues in West Maui, including the recently completed second phase of the Lahaina Bypass.
· Michelle Berner, Corporate Counsel for Newport Hospital Corporation provided the latest status for the West Maui Hospital.
· Stanford Carr, President, Stanford Carr Development LLC provided information on the Kahoma Village Project.
· Wesley Lo, Regional Chief Executive Officer of the Maui Region, provided information on Maui Healthcare in the past, present and the future.
· Rory Frampton, Planning Consultant for the West Maui Land Company provided an update on their Kahoma Residential project.
Special guests in attendance included Council Member Mike Victorino (Wailuku, Waihee, Waikapu); Council Member Don Guzman (Kahului); County of Maui Transportation Director JoAnn Johnson-Winer; Sergeant Melvin Johnson Jr, MPD who is Community Liaison for West Maui
We also thank our sponsors for helping to defray the costs of hosting the Annual Meeting:
· Paradise Grill/David Mello and Art Ortiz for once again donating all the food for the complimentary dinner service.
· Zeke Kalua for his services and for audio/visual services.
· West Maui Improvement Foundation for donating the water and miscellaneous supplies
· Java Jazz for a special discount for coffee service, and
· Akaku for a special discount for video service.
Please visit www.WestMaui.org to find out when rebroadcasts of this event will air on Akaku.
Thank you to all those WMTA members and community members who came to be informed of WMTA and happenings in West Maui. One of the attendees at the event appreciated the time we took at the meeting to explain the difference between WMTA and the WMIF and WMHMCF (also posted on our website) as they had been confused that WMTA was too tied up with the West Maui Hospital Efforts and fundraising. Now, they understand the difference and say that we should be promoting all the accomplishments of WMTA and be declaring that. The attendee also agreed with us that WMTA NEEDS MORE MEMBERS declaring that “If you are a taxpayer in West Maui, you can’t afford to not join us. Help us make a difference!”
Together with members and the community, we look forward to 2014 being the best year ever for West Maui Taxpayers Association and the West Maui community. Please stay informed, and VOTE.