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Mayor Victorino deserves thanks, not blame

Mayor Mike Victorino has been blamed for everything COVID-related and then some.

Time to set the record straight as to what the mayor deals with. The following state agencies set mandates: Hawaii Departments of Health, Transportation, Education (school policies), Land and Natural Resources (state beaches and parks).

Now, throw in what the governor mandates related to masks and trans-Pacific travel.

Finally, the federal government is in the mix as well.

Mayor Victorino has little left to control. He can offer input and make requests but has no role in the final decision.

The armchair critics are quick to unfairly criticize. No elected official could possibly be prepared to deal with a pandemic of this magnitude. Mayor Victorino has been quick to learn and communicate with citizens.

Since taking office, Mayor Victorino has dealt with several major fires, floods, a complete breakdown of the economy of Maui due to the lockdown. He established a task force for community resiliency. He sought multiple testing and vaccination sites. He has attempted to satisfy residents who want to stop all visitors and those who are clamoring for their jobs back. He has faced multiple cluster problems, including a major church and the jail. Add the resistance of many to get vaccinated — only 51 percent are currently.

I congratulate and thank Mayor Victorino for his leadership under difficult circumstances.

To those who are coping with the pandemic, be grateful for his dedication to the people of Maui. He works hard for you.

Madge Schaefer

Kihei

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