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New Format for Community Budget Meetings

Maui County Budget Office News Release

Mayor Alan Arakawa and his administration will host a series of community meetings in September and October to receive comments and suggestions from the public regarding the proposed budget for the Fiscal Year 2015-2016. Citizens with an interest in the county budget are encouraged to attend and offer input, either as individuals or on behalf of an organization. Both written and verbal comments will be accepted.

The Molokai meeting will be held on Thursday, Sept. 25, at the Home Pumehana Center at 3 p.m.

As a new feature this year to the Mayor’s annual community budget meetings, tables will be set up to allow directors and staff from each county department to meet with members of the public, hear budget-related needs, listen to concerns and answer questions about various county-related issues. Attendees will be given a form upon arrival at the meeting to determine their needs, and which department(s) their comments pertain to.

The meeting will begin with an overview by Mayor Arakawa and Budget Director Sandy Baz, followed by approximately one hour for attendees to submit comments at the various department tables. To close the evening, the group will be reconvened so that the Mayor and Budget Director can provide a recap of the issues that were raised by attendees.

“Not everyone is comfortable speaking in front of a large audience, especially when a microphone is set up in the hall,” said Arakawa. “This new discussion format will help the community meetings run more effectively by allowing people to share their comments with our County staff in a more direct and time-efficient manner.

“Suggestions from the public are welcome and are greatly appreciated, as they help us prioritize what is best for our community, and understand how to better serve Maui County residents,” continued the mayor. “Putting together the Maui County budget is a process in which everyone should have a part.”

Input from the community meetings will be taken into consideration when the administration constructs the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 budget.

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