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Victorino announces COVID-19 economic recovery task force

Mayor Michael Victorino announced a new task force Friday that will help to create an economic recovery plan in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The Economic Recovery Task Force includes about 20 people from various industries who met for the first time July 8 to brainstorm ideas and prioritize focus areas, the county said. The members are:

• Jeff Tarpey, United Airlines.

• Art Vento, Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

• Leslie Wilkins, Maui Economic Development Board.

• Teri Gorman, Native Hawaiian Chamber of Commerce and Maui Grown Therapies.

• Bill Kamai, Carpenters Union.

• Ekolu Lindsey, Maui Cultural Lands.

• Brian Moto, University of Hawaii Maui College.

• Dean Duque, First Hawaiian Bank.

• Gary Fukuroka, Maui County Federal Credit Union.

• Wes Lo, Hale Makua.

• Dr. Nicole Apoliona, Kula Hospital.

• Sherri Dodson, Habitat for Humanity.

• Van Waki, Shore To Shore Realty.

• Ryan Churchill, Pacific Rim Land.

• Peter Merriman, Merriman’s and Monkeypod Kitchen.

• Kaponoai Molitau, Native Intelligence.

• Rod Antone, Maui Hotel and Lodging Association.

• Nelson Okumura, VIP Foodservice.

• Buddy James Nobriga, Maui Soda and Ice Works.

The Mayor’s Office has reached out to agricultural industry leaders who will also be joining the task force, the county said.

The task force will make recommendations on how to spend the $67 million in federal CARES Act funds allocated to the county. They will review and suggest possible changes to county laws or policies to further assist recovering businesses.

The task force aims to make short-term recommendations to Victorino by the end of July, with long-term strategies presented by the end of August. The federal relief funds must be spent by the end of December.

Karey Kapoi of HMSA and the Hawaii Community Foundation will facilitate the group.

At the news conference Friday, the county announced that it is donating 7,000 masks and 3,000 gloves to Maui County public schools.

Officials also said at the news conference that the state is allowing all safety check certificates and stickers that expired prior to June 1 to remain valid until Aug. 31.

All other safety checks that expire in 2020 will be valid for an additional three months after the expiration date.

For example, if a safety check expires on Dec. 31, if will still be valid until March 31, 2021.

The county is also continuing to consult with the Hawaii Government Employees Association union and county attorneys on implementing protective measures for county road test examiners.

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