A personal viewpoint on Mayor Alan Arakawa
It is said that real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination. I think that’s a good description of our very own Mayor Alan Arakawa, an ordinary guy with a huge desire to make his community a much better place to live. That desire has pushed him to do the extraordinary in his life.
I’ve had the honor to work under the Mayor’s leadership for the last four years. While I’ve been in the private sector in recent years, Mayor Arakawa’s incomparable work ethic, leadership style, humility, and sincere desire to build a better community continue to inspire me and others in our administration to work in local government in order to make a positive difference for our community.
Because he believes in the concept of “government by the people,” he was quick to incorporate the principles espoused by the community-based leadership program called Focus Maui Nui. He directed the county to tackle the group’s five major issues.
Mayor Arakawa has actively pushed for K-12 schools to be built, and is working to see that Kihei High School becomes a reality as soon as possible. He encouraged the County Council to fund programs at MCC and will continue to push for the creation of a 4-year college program on Maui.
Mayor Arakawa has prioritized environmental protection, and has saved hundreds of acres of coastal open space from development, initiated the use of B-20 biodiesel fuel in county vehicles, and made invasive species funding a top priority. Mayor Arakawa was the first Maui County Mayor to attempt to take back control of our native streams from corporate entities. He wants to use that water for our community, our kuleana farmers, and our environment. I am afraid that the revolutionary nature of his environmental policies has not been fully appreciated by our community.
Thanks to his determination, the county created a resoundingly successful public bus system that serves 60,000 riders a month. He’s actively encouraged the development of thousands of new affordable homes for our working families, funded the Kuhao Business Center and Molokai’s Food & Business Expo to help Molokai’s small businesses, increased senior services, and has accomplished many other things.
Instead of simply talking about our community’s concerns, Mayor Arakawa formulates action plans and makes them happen. Because he’s a proven leader and gets the job done, he deserves your vote November 7.
Lynn Araki-Regan serves as the county’s Economic Development Coordinator and is a member of the Focus Maui Nui Advisory Team.