Netra Halperin – Maui County Council, Kahului
We need to find creative solutions for the economy where money can stay on the island, instead of being driven by off-island ownership of resorts. Community involvement and ownership of economic resources is key in this process. I think it’s important that the people’s goals for Molokai are kept intact.
Zoning changes are a significant way in which we can help the economy. We need to make zoning fit the community needs, instead of community development being constrained by zoning designations. I have co-founded the Maui Sustainable Farmer’s Coalition, which is designed to support local farmers and bring about zoning changes that are modeled after a traditional neighborhood design rather than block zoning.
One thing that sets me apart from my opponent is my position on conditional use permits, which often prohibit home businesses and other enterprises that would boost local economy. I am against the conditional use permit policy because I think it is a waste of time and money. The county council needs to exercise its full power for the public good.
As a county council member, I would bring my experience owning small businesses in fields like real estate and tourism as well as extensive community involvement working as a child and family therapist with such organizations as Women Helping Women, Aloha House, and Maui Youth and Family Services.
I would bring common sense to the table, and I think it’s important that council members fully commit themselves and prepare and educate themselves on the issues placed before them. I also see testifiers as a huge resource, a wealth of knowledge that council members should listen to and utilize more in the decision-making process.