Time to run Maui County government like a business

County Council Chairman Mike White’s Oct. 22 column in The Maui News clearly indicates that crony political appointments to 11 director positions within the county government not only needs to be changed yesterday, but needs a set of qualifications for these important positions and not have their time in the job tied to “who’s in office.”

Kudos to White for stating the obvious — these 11 key positions need professional employees with certifications or degrees in the appropriate job requirements coupled with prior job experience in their field of work. Further, their continued employment must be tied to job performance, not who is in office.

While “this ain’t the Mainland,” it’s also not a local yokel backwoods county. Real problems such as roadways and affordable housing cannot be addressed by directors who lack the qualifications to make things happen.

Here is an example of ineffective government — the county permitting process. The permitting process to fix sinkholes at numerous West Maui oceanfront condominiums, I am told, takes six to eight months. Why? Because these holes are not an emergency or life-threatening situation. However, to get them repaired, the “process” requires thousands of dollars in engineering fees and “paperwork” and jumping through hoops to get a permit to fill a hole! Meanwhile, the problems persist and only get worse!

Let’s end the discussions on qualifications for department heads and set in motion the steps necessary to amend the county charter to end the director appointments and implement professional qualifications for these key positions.

John Turzer