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Conflict of interest

January 27, 2011
Patti Nishiyama
I watched the first Maui County Council meeting of the year last week to see what issues it would be working on right away. The new councilman, Mike White, who is supposed to represent the Pā‘ia, Makawao, Ha‘ikū district, introduced a resolution to try and get more money for the Maui Visitors Bureau (MVB). He is asking to amend the current budget, not even waiting for the next budget! What about all the work that goes into our county budget? There are a lot of organizations that receive county money. If there is more money available, each of them should have the opportunity to submit a proposal. A testifier said that White works as a general manager of a hotel (earning a six-figure salary plus a salary from the county) and is a director with the MVB. How many ways can you say conflict of interest? We need real representation, not a lobbyist for the MVB.

Patti Nishiyama



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