Not planning for hurricane season is planning to fail

Viewpoint

The West Maui Taxpayers Association planning team met with the mayor and asked him to be sure to let us work together with the Maui Emergency Management Agency and to use the WMTA and our plan as a resource as we examine an “After Action Report” on the recent fires and flooding issues.

We lobbied the County Council to add two persons to the MEMA staff. Hurricane season is just around the corner. We do not believe that both of these positions were funded in the new budget and are very disappointed. The brush has grown back where the fires were and become another fire hazard waiting to happen. We need to find out what went right and what went wrong during these last fires and floods. Preparing in advance and placing importance on that now can literally save lives!

We all know that hurricanes are on the way and more expected than ever before. The WMTA website at www.westmaui.org has great information on how to prepare and we urge you to get involved.

The WMTA has saved West Maui property owners millions of dollars in reduced fire insurance premiums when we and the West Maui Improvement Foundation Inc. built our own Napili Fire and Ambulance Station. Lives have been saved. Please consider how much money we saved you already. We know people who say that the ambulance from Napili literally saved their lives. How much support from you is that worth? Through all the legwork, testifying, community rallies we have done we have made small improvements, but with an ever-growing population and visitors in the islands, we need more.

The West Maui Community Plan (planning for the next 20 years), is in the works. A Community Plan Advisory Committee has been formed to be a voice on this plan that will become law. I have been chosen to be on the committee which brings hope, because all that we have fought for now is closer to reality as the committee meets and discusses what will go in the plan. The West Maui Community Plan will become law.

Together, we can make a difference! You can be a part of the solution or part of the problem. The choice is up to you.

Please choose wisely and support the community efforts of the WMTA.

* Joseph D. Pluta is president of the West Maui Taxpayers Association.