Kaanapali Redevelopment plan requires transparency

Despite widespread opposition to its extensive Kaanapali Redevelopment plan, the Employee Retirement System (ERS) is pushing ahead with plans to gut the iconic golf course. This will entail removing nine golf holes, essentially all green space makai of the highway, and replacing them with hotels, condos and retail stores.

They also plan to move the clubhouse into a residential neighborhood mauka of the highway, adjacent to the new Kaiaulu Workforce Housing project. This month, Oahu-based ERS will begin the environmental impact study proposal for this Neighbor Island project. The Maui property represents a tiny 0.2 percent ($2 of $1,000) of the ERS portfolio, a 2005 bankruptcy settlement from a failed investment loan to Amfac (1991).

This letter will not get into the specifics of the unconscionable detrimental effects this will have on west side traffic. Addressing the environmental effects, etc., is beyond the scope of this letter, as are the immeasurable losses of recreation and community. However, transparency of the planning and approval process must be addressed today and every day going forward. This is a decision about the west side of Maui, not that of an ERS accountant.

Any council person, committee member, commissioner, representative or whomever is in anyway affiliated with the Employee Retirement Service and cannot make an unbiased judgment must recuse themselves from the process. This is much too important for Maui to allow any bias. I hope ERS listens to the community and takes a closer look at their Kaanapali Redevelopment plans.

Gary Weiss