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Absence of 3 council members prevents vote

On Sept. 12, the County Council’s Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee was scheduled to hear testimony and vote on the proposed sand mining moratorium. The committee members were polled the week prior to ensure quorum and the item was put on the agenda.

How is it that three council members decided that morning that they weren’t going to show up? Council Members Mike White, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Riki Hokama were all in attendance at a morning committee meeting, but somehow all three were unavailable for the afternoon meeting, preventing a vote from taking place.

The meeting was initially canceled but thankfully Chairwoman Elle Cochran allowed testimony. This is the second time in a week that attempts were made to silence the voice of the people.

Community members like myself took time off of work to speak to this issue that is deeply personal to many of us. The bones of our ancestors are being desecrated and this legislation is a first step to stopping the practice of mining Maui’s sand from an ancient cemetery.

Clearly these council members are stalling the vote. What do they have to gain from that?

I suggest in the future they show up for work. Isn’t that what we pay them for?

Jennifer Noelani Ahia

Wailuku