Ask The Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: Who’s responsible for clearing vegetation on easements when it affects line of sight for drivers of vehicles? Here are two examples: 1. The west, downhill corner of Makani Road and Old Haleakala Highway has a hedge that is growing onto Makani Road and is also blocking the line of sight for anyone trying to turn left onto Old Haleakala Highway. 2. At the northeast corner of Aliiolani and Honokolani streets is another hedge that is growing into the easement, blocking the view for anyone trying to cross the intersection. Please do not tell me to call an appropriate state or county department because nothing gets done. More then six months ago I filed a complaint about a pine tree hedge on Ehilani Street that has been encroaching into the easement to the point that someone walking past the residence has to walk on the road — nothing has been done!

A: I’ve forwarded this to the Department of Public Works, Highways Division, to look at these areas you’re concerned about. Line of sight for drivers is a public safety issue and the county takes it very seriously, however we get a number of calls about this and from what I understand the division responds to them as quickly as they can. As for getting no response to some of your concerns, please try filing an online “Request for Service” form, it’s the best way to report a county related issue:

Q: I’m getting really tired of calling the county to complain about roads and having them tell me it’s not them it’s the state. What are the jurisdictional rules because I have no idea how you guys figure out which roads belong to whom.

A: This is a common question and not a lot of people know which roads are county and which are state. Here are some things to remember that might help: 1. Major roads between cities or towns are state highways; 2. Roads servicing transportation centers such as harbors and airports are also state roads; 3. Department of Hawaiian Home Lands roads are owned by DHHL but by state law are maintained by the county; 4. All roads within Haleakala National Park are federal roads. Most other roads are county roads. To check, you can call the county surveyor in the Engineering Division at 270-7411.

Q: We are visiting Maui with my nephew, who would enjoy going to the beach. However, he is in a wheelchair. Do you know where we can rent a beach wheelchair?

A: I can do you one better and tell you about Kamaole Beach Park I, which is very popular beach that features a community-built beach ramp along with a free beach wheelchair available at the lifeguard stand. For more information, click on this link:

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth 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