Ask The Mayor

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

Q: I heard that the Styrofoam ban applies to those cheap coolers you can get from Longs and other local stores. Is that true? Not everyone can afford those expensive coolers.

A: Actually no, the ordinance restricting the use and sale of polystyrene foam food service containers actually lists “foam coolers” as one of the exemptions. You can read it for yourself by clicking on this link: library.municode



Q: My dad died recently and he left behind his truck. It’s in good shape and has all the tags like safety check and registration all current. My sister and I were going to sell it, but now I’m thinking maybe I should just keep it around and drive it myself. Before I do that, though, do I have to reregister the truck in my name? What are the next steps?

A: You need to go online and fill out something called an “Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property of the Decedent” that you can find online on our county website, but I’ll list the link here instead: www.mauicounty

.gov/DocumentCenter/View/11048/DMVL400-2-09—Affidavit-for-Collection?bidId=. After you fill that out you need to get it notarized then bring it and a copy of your father’s official death certificate to one of our Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing offices. They’ll help you out, and tell you what to do next.

Q: I was listening to the radio and TV a week ago trying to get Hurricane Lane updates, and I realized something. I don’t know what the difference is between a hurricane watch and a hurricane warning is. Can you please explain?

A: A “watch” is the official notice that there’s a storm system or hazardous condition that it on its way, which may be a serious threat to life and property. A “warning” means the threat is imminent in your area or is occurring right now. The difference is that with a watch you have time to take precautions and to make preparations. With a warning you need to take immediate action to protect yourself.

• 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