Q: Is the county going to do anything about the feral chicken problem?
A: Yes. The fiscal year 2014 budget proposal I will be submitting to the County Council in a few weeks will include money to address the issue of feral chickens in our community. Funds will be designated for the Maui Humane Society, which will be tasked with creating and administering a program to deal with the animal control issue that has been plaguing the island for many years. Ironically, a recent power outage near Kahului Airport was caused by none other than a wild chicken that came into contact with a transformer near the rental car facility. The power outage caused brief flight delays, manual security screenings and stair boardings on at least four planes while motorized jetways were inoperable. The loss of electricity, which lasted about an hour, also affected rental car companies, Kmart, the Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport hotel and other businesses in the area.
Q: I live in Iao Parkside in Wailuku, about 50 feet from the outfield fence of the baseball field. I often wake up to the sound of leaf blowers, riding mowers and power tools as early as 7 a.m. A state law was passed prohibiting the use of leaf blowers before 9 a.m. Why are county and state workers exempt from this?
A: The restriction on leaf blowers enacted by the state Legislature, HRS 342F-30.8, specifies that: "Government entities and agents acting on behalf of government entities shall not be subject to this section." While I cannot speak to the reason the exemption was included in the legislation, I can assure you that I've asked our parks employees to be considerate of neighboring properties while complying with permit requirements that allow the public to enjoy county facilities. Our parks employees face tight time constraints when completing work on the fields before permitted users begin activities, which often start at 2:30 p.m. These permitted uses include soccer games, baseball games and other youth and community events. Parks staff work hard to mow the lawn, blow off the sidewalk, remove leaves from facilities, weed whack edges and water the fields - all before permitted activities begin. Parks maintenance staff begin work at 6 a.m. in order to complete all of these tasks in time. However, they wait until about 7 a.m. to begin the work that makes more noise. It is indeed a delicate balance, taking noise into consideration while providing county services and maintaining the county facilities the public needs and wants.
Q: When the State ID cards were issued at the Governor's Liaison Office in Wailuku, handicapped and elderly people were allowed to go to the front of the line. Now that the ID cards are being issued at the County Service Center at the Maui Mall, is that still the policy?
A: As of Jan. 2, the state Department of Transportation and all county driver license offices began implementing Act 310, Session laws of Hawaii 2012, which affects the issuance of Hawaii State Identification Cards. Applicants are required to show proof of legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, legal presence and proof of principal residence address. While some applying for renewal of their State ID may be able to process their renewal through the mail, others may need to join first-time applicants in bringing their legal documents to a county driver's license office for processing. In addition to State ID cards, the County Service Center at the Maui Mall administers a large number of county services such as motor vehicle registration, driver's licenses and permits, commercial driver's licenses, dog licenses, bicycle and moped registration, acceptance of refuse and water payments, and issuance of the initial disabled parking placards. Given the quantity and variety of services provided, we are unable to offer "front-of-line priority" at this time. However, the county has expanded the availability of State Identification services so that applications are now accepted at all seven of the county Department of Motor Vehicles and Licensing offices throughout the county, including Molokai and Lanai. For more information, visit www.mauicounty.gov/dmvl and click on the left tab, "State of Hawaii Identification Cards."
* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at mailto:email@example.com , by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., 9th 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 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.