King downfall was putting community over money

At the outset of Kelly King’s brief one-year tenure as Maui County Council chairwoman, she established an innovative new council committee structure. It was based on the 2010 Maui Countywide Plan Vision Statement which expressed residents’ priorities for the future of Maui.

One of the big gripes by council members was that Kelly did not publicly ask permission to replace a 42-year-old abstract wall hanging of a rural version of Maui and her desire to place plaques of the County Vision and Core Principles Statements in Council Chambers.

Among the top five objectives stated in the plan, responsible stewardship over natural resources was first, followed by preserving the unique identity of Maui, communities with diversity of housing maintaining rural ag lands and respecting the dignity of residents. Yet, rampant commercial and retail development rezoning of land to urban from ag continues at a furious pace. Luxury hotels and homes for wealthy Mainlanders continue to far outpace the housing needs of residents with average incomes. Affordable apartments aren’t even discussed. Kelly King’s main objective was stewardship over the land. Perhaps that was her downfall.

Many feel that we have lost the leadership that placed the needs of residents over that of money interests. It seems the Maui Countywide Plan’s Vision Statement will continue to take a back seat to development. What will it take for county government to actually work for the people of Maui and accept leadership in doing so? It shouldn’t take a miracle.

Nicolas Drance



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