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Arakawa, the Sequel

Mayor-elect visits with veterans, community

Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa said there is a lot that needs to be worked on, but he is up for the challenge to once again lead Maui County.

Arakawa was on-island last week to hear concerns and praise from the community at a lunch hosted by the Molokai Veterans Caring for Veterans.

In a “much abbreviated timeline,” Arakawa said he is reviewing the county budget that due in March; creating his legislative agenda that due at the end of November; and “re-familiarizing myself with every community.”

Since serving as Maui County Mayor from 2002-2006, Arakawa said he’s seen Molokai’s economy suffer since Molokai Properties Limited, commonly known as Molokai Ranch, closed its operations in 2008.

“Our job is to try to find balance between [Molokai’s] more traditional way of living and the community’s need to have jobs so the younger generation can survive,” he said in an interview before the lunch at Paddlers Inn.

As the economy is a tough beast to tackle, Arakawa said he has items on his agenda that can be solved more immediately – such as the day’s hosts, the Molokai veterans.

legislation,” he said.

By the entire system, he means the county itself. Arakawa said the county government is too large for its community to sustain it and wants to streamline its departments and agencies.

Arakawa will be sworn in as mayor on Jan. 2. He is asking the community to let him know as soon as possible if their organization should be in the next county budget or of a particular legislative issue that should have his attention. Contact him at annarakawa@hawaiiantel.net or (808) 871-4301.

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