It’s back to school — and back to work for the council

School has started again. For many families, this means new challenges and a readjustment of schedules and finances.

Though county governments in Hawaii don’t have formal jurisdiction over education, the Maui County Council takes pride in doing what it can to support our youth as they learn and grow.

This week, for example, council committees will work on issues important to parents’ peace of mind and children’s development, such as housing, parks and public safety.

The Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee, chaired by Council Member Stacy Crivello, will review the Residential Workforce Housing Policy on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

The committee will assess the effectiveness of the policy (codified at Chapter 2.96 of the Maui County Code) in addressing the current needs of our workforce for affordable housing and consider whether amendments are needed.

The Budget and Finance Committee, chaired by Council Member Mike White, will consider budget amendments for the Kulamalu Affordable Housing Project. The committee will review the amendments on Thursday at 1:30 p.m.

The council is always looking to expand affordable-housing opportunities, especially for low- and moderate-income families, and those with special needs.

Plentiful recreational opportunities are important components of family-friendly communities. The council is considering means of enhancing the county’s parks inventory.

On Tuesday at 1:30 p.m., the Economic Development, Energy, Agriculture and Recreation Committee will consider a resolution approving acquisition of approximately 209 acres of property owned by Alexander & Baldwin LLC in Central Maui. Council Member Don Guzman chairs the committee.

The property, situated along Kuihelani Highway near the Waikapu Community Center, is identified in the resolution as a possible location for a park and other county purposes.

Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee, chaired by Council Member Elle Cochran, will consider proposals supporting parks facilities.

The committee will consider establishing a crosswalk at Kanaloa Avenue for the War Memorial Complex, which features an array of recreational opportunities in Wailuku. Aside from the frequent sports practices and tournaments in that area, many community events, like the Visitor Industry Charity Walk, are also held there.

The committee will also consider a crosswalk at Wells Street in Wailuku, near the popular Wells Park tennis courts.

Crosswalks encourage people to get out and get moving. But we also need to consider impacts on sidewalks, vehicular traffic, and pedestrian safety.

In other news, the investigation of the Old Wailuku Post Office and Kalana O Maui Master Plan will begin at Monday’s Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee meeting at 9 a.m., with Council Member Riki Hokama presiding.

Read the committee agendas online at or on our social media sites. As always, feel free to join us in the chamber or submit your testimony by email.

In celebrating my birthday this month, I recall with great pleasure my own school days. The council wants to ensure that all of Maui County’s children will be able to look back on their school days as a safe and happy time.

A hui hou.

* Gladys C. Baisa is chairwoman of the Maui County Council and holds the council’s Pukalani/Kula/Ulupalakua residency area seat. “Chair’s 3 Minutes” is a weekly column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters.