Ask The Mayor
Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Q: Our businesses are being affected by abandoned vehicles on Kolu Street in Wailuku. They’re now being stripped for parts. There is one vehicle in particular that has been parked in front of a property for two months. This vehicle is on county property, now being occupied by an individual, and has been reported several times to the Maui Police Department and tagged. Please, Mr. Mayor, can you help the businesses around us?
A: Our Abandoned Vehicles and Metals Section (AVM) is aware of a number of vehicles on Kolu Street and removed three cars last week, and another the previous week. As you have stated, we found one of the vehicles occupied, and this can understandably delay the process of removing the vehicle. We always want to be compassionate in working with these individuals but also work to remove these vehicles, which can present health and safety concerns for surrounding residents.
In these situations, AVM personnel advise the Department of Housing and Human Concerns (DHHC) to address homeless individuals who are occupying an abandoned vehicle. DHHC then contacts Family Life Center. Its staff responds and attempts to contact the individual, offering him or her services. Finally, Department of Environmental Management staff works with a towing company and the Maui Police Department to safely arrange the towing of the vehicle.
As you can see, removing abandoned vehicles from our roadways involves many different departments, businesses and agencies, so we continue to ask for the public’s help. AVM staff work hard every day to clean up our community and is also looking to expand the Junk Vehicle Disposal Assistance Program to further assist residents.
Remember, dumping cars is a crime. Owners are charged and fined. To report an abandoned vehicle, call police at 244-6400 and select “0.” Also, when you transfer ownership of a vehicle, make sure you do so in person at the county Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing. That way, you know you’re no longer legally responsible for a sold vehicle.
To learn more about how to properly dispose of a vehicle, visit the county Office of Abandoned Vehicles and Metals website at mauicounty.gov/avm.
Q: I work in Paia and see people who appear to be homeless directing traffic into and out of the free public parking lot next to the Shell gas station. I have seen a shirtless guy on a bike aggressively telling people where and how to park, and then accepting money from these people, who mostly appear to be tourists. I am guessing people only give them money because they are afraid to leave their vehicles unattended with these people around. What can be done to keep these people from preying on tourists and locals?
A: Mahalo for bringing this to my attention, and I instructed my staff to follow up with the Maui Police Department. When community members see something suspicious, including a person directing traffic into a public lot and asking for money, we strongly encourage them to call the nonemergency police phone number at (808) 244-6400 and ask to have an officer respond.
Concerned citizens can also contact the Community Relations Section at (808) 270-6535, and look into starting a Neighborhood Watch. If there is an ongoing issue with homelessness, they can contact the Maui Police Department Core team and resources can be offered.
* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com.