* EDITOR'S NOTE - This is the sixth in a series of stories covering contested legislative and County Council seats and County Charter and state constitutional amendments leading up to Tuesday's general election.
West Maui state House hopeful Chayne Marten continues to hammer away at incumbent Angus McKelvey's voting record on the environment, his handling of Lipoa Point as well as gambling bills the lawmaker authored last Legislative session.
But Democrat McKelvey said it's Marten, the Republican, who has it all mixed up.
McKelvey said he has secured $2.5 million to statewide watershed restoration projects, including $330,000 to the West Maui Watershed Partnership, and he has been endorsed by the Sierra Club. He is also working to see what the state can do to help the county save Lipoa Point from development, and McKelvey said none of his gambling bills aimed at generating state revenue was heard last year, because other revenue paths were found.
But Marten of Napili continues to put the heat on Lahaina resident McKelvey, as was seen at a feisty televised debate on Oct. 9 on Akaku: Maui Community Television.
"I'm really concerned about how our legislator has been voting," said Marten who is running for state House District 10, which includes West Maui, Maalaea and north Kihei. "I believe the representative should be the representative of the people. They should be the voice of the people and represent the will of the people and not represent anybody else's agenda."
House District 10
(West Maui, Maalaea and north Kihei)
Born: Aug. 3, 1952; Stockton, Calif.
Education: Canada College, Calif.; College of San Mateo; Stanford University; Maui College; Screen Actors Guild Conservatory
Community involvement: West Maui Taxpayers Association
Family: Married, three children
Angus L. McKelvey
Born: March 9, 1968; Honolulu
Elected offices held: State House of Representatives, 2006 to present
Education: Bachelor's degree, Whittier College, 1991
Community involvement: Volunteer, LahainaTown Action Committee; former member Lahaina Rotary Club, Lahaina Restoration Foundation
The 60-year-old Marten pointed to McKelvey's vote in favor of the nearly autonomous Public Land Development Corp., which can generate revenue for the cash-strapped Department of Land and Natural Resources by allowing developers to build on public land, although the measure caused an uproar from the public and the counties.
Marten said McKelvey rode "in on the white horse" recently at a County Council meeting, claiming to have a "great plan" for saving Lipoa Point, a privately owned parcel that some residents are fighting to keep undeveloped in West Maui. But Marten said McKelvey failed to give any guarantees to the county to help save the parcel.
"I think McKelvey was just trying to grab headlines three weeks before the election," said Marten, who works in "green construction" and consults with hotels to convert their utilities to LEED technology, or what is called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Marten, who has run unsuccessfully in the past for Maui County Council and state House, added that McKelvey has authored bills to bring gambling to Hawaii, which people don't want.
But the 44-year-old Mc-Kelvey countered all of Marten's claims.
He said that the Public Land Development Corp. law was well-intentioned and that nothing would have happened before the public gave its input and had a hearing on its board members.
But he heard the uproar of the public and will work to repeal the law.
McKelvey said that the idea of the act could still be used in a positive way to help build Hawaii's food supply.
He said officials could identify state lands and create a system in which farmers could produce food locally and the state would not only provide the land but subsidize water and electricity as well as certification processes, which are expensive for small farmers.
He added that revenue for the DLNR could be generated from state parks.
As for Lipoa Point, Mc-Kelvey said that what is needed is to gather all the stakeholders together before the Legislature starts in January, when he can see what the state and possibly the federal government can do to help.
McKelvey added that a management plan is needed for the area.
He said his proposed state-federal plan is a plan "B" to Mayor Alan Arakawa's plan for the county to purchase Lipoa Point, which is owned by Maui Land & Pineapple Co.
"Chayne talks big about Honolua (Lipoa Point area). (But) he has no plans of his own to acquire the land or management," he said.
McKelvey has acknowledged that ML&P has said that Lipoa Point is being used a collateral for the company's pension fund, and its value would drop if it were placed in preservation, something the County Council has struggled with. It currently is in agriculture designation.
McKelvey has said he wanted to be sure that the pensioners' fund was secure, otherwise the state's safety net would be strained if pensioners are left hanging and in the end costs would be incurred one way or another.
But Marten said other lands could be used as collateral and that McKelvey's push to try to save pensioners' benefits was "hypocritical" because McKelvey recently voted for raising taxes on some retired employees' pensions.
McKelvey explained the increase he voted on was for those on the "top 1 percent" of incomes, such as those individuals with a pension of $100,000 a year or $200,000 who filed jointly.
But he said the measure did not survive.
He said what Marten doesn't understand is that "you've got to throw out all these projects to capture revenue."
McKelvey said those that would have been taxed extra are only 3 percent of the population and were probably wealthy residents who moved here from the Mainland. He added the money would go to state services for the public.
As for his gambling bills, McKelvey said he proposed them to possibly garner more revenue for the state.
But he said after hearing that visitor numbers were stronger than expected, McKelvey didn't hear his bills, noting that other revenue sources had been found.
He said the two bills he penned were an Internet-only lottery and a proposal to host a World Series of Poker tournament in Waikiki, which would attract visitors from around the world.
He added that with the Internet-only lottery, if things got out of hand for players, their accounts could be shut down easily.
McKelvey said that if he were re-elected his plans include continuing to obtain construction funds for the Lahaina bypass's next phases and for the planned Kihei-Upcountry highway. He said he also would work on the Combined Hawaii Organic Agriculture Mobilization plan for sustainable agriculture as well as getting air conditioning into schools and getting iPads for students in his Lahaina complex.
Marten said he too would like to see air conditioning for West Maui schools as well as look to changes in the public school curriculums to challenge bright students. He said students who don't speak English or are still learning English could be placed in a separate class, but they should be put into the mainstream curriculum as soon as possible. This could be done so other students who learn quicker are not held back by the rest of the students who need more help.
Marten acknowledged that his children are home schooled because he saw them falling behind in public school.
He also believes in sustainable agriculture and favors biofuels, such as the Hawaiian sunflower, instead of developing sometimes-controversial wind farms.
Marten added that he would look to private donors to help the less fortunate and the homeless.
He would also like to see if Hawaii could buy medication in bulk for senior citizens to keep costs down.
Even though he is running as a Republican, Marten said he is really nonpartisan. But he was told by the Republican Party that he didn't stand a chance as a nonpartisan candidate and that the party would back him 100 percent.
But Marten said he has received "not one penny" from the Republicans.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.