In light of any misconceived notions about Council Member Mike White's dedication to the working people, I am compelled to share these facts demonstrating his leadership traits.
I have been a member of his Ka'anapali Beach Hotel executive ohana for 26 years and know that his decisions are guided by principles of fairness and compassion.
Mike is fiscally prudent and works diligently to ensure that our employees are compensated fairly. Following 9/11, when cutbacks were being made across the state, he chose the unconventional path with no cutbacks, reassuring employees of their importance. Again, after the economic downturn in 2008, he was the first to take a 10 percent salary cut. He did not mandate reductions across the board but, rather, requested voluntary furloughs. He felt that while some were able to afford wage reductions, others could not.
Since Mike joined the Maui County Council, he has given up a third of his hotel salary to provide pay increases to his employees who hadn't received increases for several years. With this reduction and what he donates to Maui's nonprofits, he does not make any more money by serving on the council. He did the same when serving in the state Legislature from 1993 to 1998.
When council members received their increase, Mike was told that he couldn't decline the 15 percent adjustment. Consequently, Maui nonprofits have benefitted.
With his deep-seated Hawaii roots, Mike accepts his kuleana to make things pono and is dedicated to Hawaii's working people.