Ab­sence of 3 coun­cil mem­bers pre­vents vote

The Maui News - - OPINION -

On Sept. 12, the County Coun­cil’s In­fra­struc­ture and En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee was sched­uled to hear tes­ti­mony and vote on the pro­posed sand min­ing mora­to­rium. The com­mit­tee mem­bers were polled the week prior to en­sure quo­rum and the item was put on the agenda.

How is it that three coun­cil mem­bers de­cided that morn­ing that they weren’t go­ing to show up? Coun­cil Mem­bers Mike White, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Riki Hokama were all in at­ten­dance at a morn­ing com­mit­tee meet­ing, but some­how all three were un­avail­able for the af­ter­noon meet­ing, pre­vent­ing a vote from tak­ing place.

The meet­ing was ini­tially can­celed but thank­fully Chair­woman Elle Cochran al­lowed tes­ti­mony. This is the sec­ond time in a week that at­tempts were made to si­lence the voice of the peo­ple.

Com­mu­nity mem­bers like my­self took time off of work to speak to this is­sue that is deeply per­sonal to many of us. The bones of our an­ces­tors are be­ing des­e­crated and this leg­is­la­tion is a first step to stop­ping the prac­tice of min­ing Maui’s sand from an an­cient ceme­tery.

Clearly these coun­cil mem­bers are stalling the vote. What do they have to gain from that?

I sug­gest in the fu­ture they show up for work. Isn’t that what we pay them for?

Jennifer Noe­lani Ahia Wailuku

The Maui News wel­comes let­ters on sub­jects of gen­eral in­ter­est. Let­ters must not ex­ceed 250 words, and all let­ters are sub­ject to edit­ing. Hand­writ­ten let­ters are not ac­cepted. Writ­ers are lim­ited to two pub­lished let­ters per month. No po­etry. Let­ters may be sub­mit­ted via the Vir­tual News­room on The Maui News web­site (www.mauinews.com), or via email (opin­ions@mauinews.com). Let­ters must in­clude the writer’s name, com­mu­nity and a tele­phone num­ber where the writer can be reached.

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