Ask The Mayor

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

Q: Why are drivers allowed to have Kingdom of Hawaii license plates? Isn’t this the same as having an unregistered vehicle but blatantly advertising it?

A: We have answered this question several times before, and the answer is still the same. Vehicles with these plates, along with several other “sovereign” type license plates, are illegal. Motorists operating vehicles with these license plates are consistently cited, but because of their beliefs, they continue to utilize the plates even after being cited. Many times, the vehicle’s registration and safety inspections have expired, and the motorists are cited for those violations as well. Should they not have insurance, a criminal citation also is issued. Many police officers repeatedly cite vehicles displaying these types of license plates. Other vehicles with “sovereign” type license plates may have current registration, safety and insurance. However, these vehicles are still illegal because all vehicles for which a tax has been paid pursuant to state law must display license plates that bear the word “Hawai’i” along the upper portion of the plate and the words “Aloha State” along the lower portion of the plate. State law further requires vehicle owners to securely fasten the number plates on the vehicle, one on the front and the other on the rear, at a location provided by the manufacturer. Appropriate action is taken by the investigating officer in the event these vehicles become involved in a motor vehicle collision.

Q: Why are there so many cars parked on the grass where it says no parking? It makes it hard to see the street when pulling out from business driveways. Alamaha Street already is dangerous with forklifts going back and forth across the street. It doesn’t help that the cars on the grass obstruct your sight.

A: If you see signs that restrict parking in this area, you can call Maui Police Department and they will enforce the law. Call MPD’s nonemergency number at 244-6400 to report the issue.

Q: There is an empty lot next to us here in Kula. It is overgrown with very tall wattle trees. Besides of the fire hazard, there is danger of them falling on our house and yard. Wattle trees have shallow roots and are top-heavy, and a number of trees in this lot have fallen down already. Is there a county agency that we can call? The owners are a hui that is apparently located on the Mainland.

A: Submit a Maui County Request for Service (RFS) to explain the situation and leave your contact information as well as the address of the property in question. We receive these questions quite a bit, especially after a lot of rain causes empty/abandoned lots to grow weeds and brush. Our Finance Department can also assist tracking down entities that have absorbed the property in question, such as a bank or law firm. But first you need to input the data into our RFS system. Mahalo.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at askthemayor@mauicounty.gov, 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 mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.