Ask the Mayor

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

Q: Somebody has set up a construction equipment and storage yard on vacant land between South Kihei Road and Wela Street, almost across from Ahekolo Street. There are shipping containers, forklifts, backhoes and construction material. It’s an eyesore. Is this legal?

A: The property you mention is zoned “Open Zone,” which is very restrictive, and any significant new use or change in use would require special management area review. However, in other areas, the Maui County Code allows construction equipment used for work authorized by a valid permit or for work exempted from permit requirements. As long as the work is being done somewhere nearby it can stay, such as if the construction were occurring on this site, but not for construction elsewhere unless the zoning allows it. To submit a Request for Service inquiry, visit and a county staff member will follow up on your complaint.

Q: Many of my neighbors and I have asked the county at meetings and other avenues when we can expect Door of Faith Road in Haiku to be repaired. The county used to maintain it to the Hawaiian church. We get tourist traffic to that church and the neighbors have been filling in the potholes for years. There is no plan or budget set aside for our road with hundreds of residents. Can you please help us? We need to get to and from our homes and the potholes are beyond anything the residents can repair. We beg you. Please come drive our road and see how bad it is. I will make you a cake for taking the trip to the country. We are a nice roadful of great neighbors. We pay our taxes and all we ask is for the county to fix several hundred feet of road. It is only really bad from the highway to the Hawaiian church (where we get the most public traffic). Will the county ever fix or maintain our little road? Please make us a priority.

A: Thank you for the offer of cake, but I’m afraid I have bad news. According to our Public Works Department, the ownership of Door of Faith Road in Huelo is actually partially private and partially state-owned. Under previous administrations, the Public Works Highways Division was directed to maintain a portion of the road since the Door of Faith Church once served as a polling location. The church is no longer a polling place and the Highways Division adheres strictly to the policy of only maintaining roads the county is responsible for; this is especially true under current budget constraints. While your road is indeed in fair to poor condition for a rural minor road, the county must use the limited funds for capital improvement and pavement preservation projects for the many county-maintained roads, bridges and slope stability areas in East Maui that are in need of attention. I would suggest you contact your state representative or senator for assistance in working with the state for the repairs needed.

Q: The last time I got a pedicure, the salon did not do a good job of keeping their equipment and basin clean — I got a nasty fungal infection on my foot that was raw and oozing and took days to get rid of. Totally disgusting. How do I lodge a complaint about the nail salon? The nail technicians can barely speak English so it doesn’t seem like all of them could possibly have passed the licensing exam.

A: There are two state agencies that you can contact. The sanitation aspect would be overseen by the Department of Health’s Environmental Health Services Office, Sanitation Branch, which administers rules governing sanitation at barbershops and beauty salons, including nail salons. Tools used on multiple customers are supposed to be thoroughly sanitized for each use. To reach the Maui office of the Sanitation Branch, call 984-8230. Regarding licensing, you can file an online complaint form with the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs at Nail salons are a regulated industry, so complaints are handled by the Regulated Industries Complaint Office.

* 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