Failure of MPL Cannot be Blamed on the Opposition
for operational needs" (p.115). MPL operations for the past four years appear to have been supported only by real estate sales: "Between 2003 and 2007, MPL was able to sell enough land in order that it could fund its own operating cash requirements, capital needs, master planning, and entitlement costs" (p.115).
This appears to no longer be the case. The closing of Molokai Ranch indicates its operations are no longer self-sustaining, via real-estate sales or otherwise. Peter Nicholas states that "unacceptable delays caused by continued opposition to every aspect of the Master Plan means we are unable to fund continued normal company operations". He continues to say "without the prospect of an economic future for the company that results from the implementation of all facets of the Master Plan, we are unable to continue to bear large losses from continuing these operations".
However, the "delays" in starting the implementation of the La'au Point development and other "Master Plan" activities are procedural, and not due to unforeseeable, unexpected, or unreasonable opposition to "The Plan". A final EIS has yet to be completed, as well as numerous other proceedings needed to go forward with the project. These are required by law. MPL has (or should have) known the time needed for their completion at the outset of this project. They have nothing to do with the current financial standing of MPL.
MPL blames their current financial insolvency on opposition to La'au Point. Some people have been convinced enough to blame specific individuals vocal and visible in their opposition to MPL's plan, and who are pursuing other alternatives to it. However, blaming La'au opposition fails to acknowledge the actual reasons for MPL's financial woes – a history of operating deficits, depressed real-estate and lending industries worldwide, and a parent company unwilling to continue subsidizing non-performing investments.
The unemployment resulting from the closure of Molokai Ranch operations will have a ripple effect on individuals, families, and the community at large. Emotions will run high – this is evident form the comments posted on the Molokai community newspapers' websites. I am optimistic that unproductive blame and anger can be converted into support, collaboration, and innovation in moving forward with Molokai's future.
Molokai High c/o 1999