Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: I would like to thank you and the Public Works Highways Division for paving Maha Road in Makawao. It has made a tremendous improvement by eliminating all of the pothole patches. However, there is one thing that I would like to see to complete the road. There is a storm drainage grate that is located at the intersection of Maha Road and Ukiu Road that is very low compared to the surface of the road. I wonder if this drainage grate can be made even with the surface of the road? That would make it much easier to negotiate the turn at this intersection. It would be much appreciated by all who use this part of Maha Road and Ukiu Road to have this done. Mahalo for looking into this for a possible solution.

A: I checked with the Public Works Department and was told that plans are already underway to widen the collection apron of the storm drain there to decrease the slope angle and to make for a smoother transition without raising the grating level. The existing storm drain was not altered during the paving process and needs to remain at its current level to properly direct stormwater into the catch basin.

Q: Is it legal for a minor to fire a paintball gun in a residential area or anywhere outside of a paintball park?

A: The answer is a bit complicated, but in general, yes if under the supervision of an adult and not in a public place. According to the Maui Police Department and the county Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, a paintball gun is considered an air gun because it contains a compressed air mechanism. That means that by law, a juvenile would need to be using the paintball gun under adult supervision in a controlled environment and not causing harm to anyone or damage to property. Maui County Code 9.28.020 specifies that it is unlawful for a minor under age 18 to own, acquire by purchase, gift or otherwise possess, use, operate or play with an air gun unless under the immediate supervision of an adult. The code also indicates that such use may not take place on a public highway, in a public park or playground, on school premises, in theaters, airports, harbors, piers or any other public place (not including a bona fide public target range). It is also against the law to sell a minor any ball, pellet or other missiles designed to be used for or by air guns. To view the County Code, visit

Q: How do I find out if my property is in a flood zone? If it is, how do I get flood insurance or move forward with getting a flood development permit?

A: You can check the Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps online to see if your property is in a flood zone at then click on the “Development” tab on the left, then “Flood Development Permit.” Scroll down to see the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which you can use to type in your address. Information on the application and process, including elevation certificates and flood insurance, also can be found on the “Flood Development Permit” webpage. Keep in mind that flood development permit applications must be prepared by a licensed professional engineer or architect and submitted to the Planning Department.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email