Lease for PV farm on mayor’s property canceled
County officials file financial disclosures
A lease between Mayor Alan Arakawa’s family and a Hong Kong-based company seeking to build a photovoltaic farm on his family’s land in Kula that came under fire last year has been canceled, county and state records show.
Arakawa and his brother, Wallace, own three parcels, totaling 47 acres along Omaopio Road in Kula. Arakawa acknowledged the lease with SKY OMA PV-1, signed in June 2012 while he was mayor, which was not included on his financial disclosure statement filed in March 2016. The statement said he and his brother derived no income from the properties.
The mayor said last year that he and his brother currently do not receive income from the lease and that they would not be compensated by SKY OMA until the project was built and generating power for Maui Electric Co. He did tell the Ethics Board that he met a couple of times with representatives of the company and accompanied them to a meeting with MECO officials.
Kihei resident Mark Hyde challenged the mayor’s assertion that he and his brother received no financial benefit, as filed on his disclosure statement. The mayor has said that he and his brother received money from the company for work on a road on the property, but that the road, which was partially completed, was worth very little and had no value until the company started using it.
The utility said that it received a proposal from SKY OMA in 2012 to purchase power from the PV farm but an agreement was not reached. Hyde pointed out that Arakawa has expressed “keen interest” in energy and has at times had a rocky relationship with the utility, even advocating for taking MECO private.
Arakawa said that SKY OMA is no longer operating in Hawaii and that his current financial disclosure statement reflects that fact, according to Maui County Communications Director Rod Antone on Wednesday.
The mayor’s financial disclosure statement was among 15 filed by officials in his administration that were received by the Ethics Board on Wednesday. Appointed and elected Maui County officials along with county office seekers are required to file a financial disclosure statement.
Current county property tax records show no lessee for the Arakawa properties and note a cancellation document recorded Jan. 10. A “mutual cancellation of solar energy property agreement” was filed with the state’s Bureau of Conveyances. The parties involved are lessors, Vahi Inu Anu Ranch LLC, Arakawa and his brother, Wallace; lessor managing agent Wally’s Solar World LLC and lessees SKY OMA PV-1 Inc.
The document does not give a reason for the cancellation.
In his current disclosure form, Arakawa reported earning an income as mayor and as an owner of Arakawa Farms of between $200,000 to $499,999. (The forms provide only income ranges). He earned $135,696 as mayor but received a salary bump to $151,980 following Salary Commission action in December. The raise was made retroactive to July 1.
Arakawa noted that he is half owner of Arakawa Farms and lists the partnership with his brother for the three Kula properties. He has mortgages tied to his Kahului residence — one for between $100,000 to $199,999 and the other for between $10,000 to $24,999.
While he did not receive a speaking fee, Nissan Motor Co. of Japan invited the mayor to address a consumer electronics show in Las Vegas. The company paid for his hotel accommodations, which were between $1,000 and $9,999.
Arakawa also received tickets, a bag, a T-shirt and cap worth $2,210 from the Maui Invitational basketball tournament last year, the statement said.
In other disclosure reports received by the board, Managing Director Keith Regan reported his income in the $100,000 to $199,999 range. He made $126,385 last year as managing director but will receive a 12 percent increase to $141,551 as voted by the Salary Commission.
He also reported that his wife, Lynn Araki-Regan, has an income range of $100,000 to $199,999 as an attorney. Araki-Regan became budget director in December, a job paying $100,000 to $199,999.
Regan has a 33.33 percent interest in Calendar Maui, an online community calendar, and is president and chief executive officer of Credit Associates of Maui, a debt collection service.
He has a mortgage of $500,000 to $999,999 for his Wailuku residence and a student loan between $50,000 and $99,000. He also has two loans or credit cards with debts of $10,000 to $24,999.
Liquor department Director Glenn Mukai, who assumed his office in June, reported a salary of $100,000 to $199,999. His job paid $118,243 a year, but that has risen to $132,432.
He also has income in the range of $1,000 to $9,999 from common stock dividends from Hawaiian Electric Industries and earns in the same range from a U.S. Veterans Administration benefit.
A revocable living trust he holds with Dawn Naomi Mukai includes 1,078 shares of common stock from Hawaiian Electric Industries and a 100 percent interest in a Wailuku property worth between $200,000 to $499,999.
Under the same trust, there is a mortgage on his Wailuku residence between $100,000 to $199,999 and a car loan for $1,000 to $9,999.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at email@example.com.