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Susan Halas

Susan Halas is a Senior Political Contributor at MAUIWatch. She has followed Hawaii politics since 1976 when she moved to the Valley Isle. She was formerly a staff writer for the Maui News as well as other local print and digital publications.

End of nominations: GET votes Approval for Goode; Disapproval for Spence

Goode: 5 Yes, 3 No, 1 Excused David Goode, Mayor Victorino’s nominee to continue as Director of Public Works passed the council’s Governance, Ethics and Transparency (GET) Committee on Feb. 7  by a vote of 5 to 3 with one excused. It is expected to go to the full council later this month. On a motion for approval voting YES …

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Wong goes down, McLean survives as County Council votes on Mayor’s nominees

Patrick Wong, acting Maui Corporation Counsel was rejected by the GET Committee of the Maui County Council by a vote of 5 to 4 (NO: Sinenci, King, Rawlins-Fernandez, Paltin, Kama; YES: Molina, Lee, Hokama, Sugimura). Wong, who served in the post for the last eight years during the Arakawa administration has a long been a controversial figure in county government. …

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Recapping the Mayor’s Department Head Nominees, Fireworks likely ahead for the last four

The review of Mayor Victorino’s nominees to head the different county departments has been a difficult and time consuming process. Public testimony and council discussion has been conducted since last month in the nine member council committee on Government, Ethics and Transparency (GET) chaired by councilmember Mike Molina. Their recommendations will be forwarded to the full council. The date for …

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Rawlins-Fernandez & Molina Snare Top Spots as Council Names Committee Chairs

Though attendance was sparse, it was quite a day at the Maui County Council’s January 11th meeting. Organizing of the legislative body continued as committee assignments were handed out for the council’s eight standing committees. Snaring the top spots were freshman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez who was selected to chair Economic Development & Budget Committee, while Mike Molina was picked to head …

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Kelly King Elected Chair as New Council Organizes

When the newly elected Maui County Council took their seats for the first time at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2nd it elected Kelly King (South Maui) Chair, Keani Rawlins-Fernandez (Molokai) Vice Chair, and Tasha Kama (Kahului) Presiding Officer Pro Tempore. Each woman received a unanimous vote. It marked a changing of the guard for the legislative branch of county …

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Mayor-Elect Victorino Announces Appointments

Mayor-Elect Mike Victorino has announced twelve choices to key jobs in his upcoming administration. He takes office January 2. The soon-to-be mayor said he got over 300 applications for the top jobs and his selection committee worked diligently to make the recommendations. Victorino said about 90 percent of those recommended by the selection committee ended up being his picks. “I am …

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General Election 2018: Maui Voters Somewhat Split on Ideals

When the smoke cleared, after months of campaigning, sign waving, fund raising and door knocking Maui County voters proved somewhat split agenda when they divided their vote between candidates representing old school politics and those identified with a more progressive point of view. Mauians picked a new mayor from the retro wing of local politics and a nine member county …

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New Kihei Charter School Campus Nears Completion

The new Kihei Charter School is nearing completion with final inspections and move in expected soon. Until now the rapidly expanding school which serves grades K-12 has held classes in a variety of locations throughout South Maui. When completed the new campus will bring the entire student body together. It is expected enroll between 650 to 700 students in the …

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Gubernatorial Nominee Tupola Finds a Receptive Audience on Maui Visit

“I’m here to change your mind,” said Andria Tupola. The Republican nominee for Hawai`i governor was on Maui on Tuesday and Wednesday meeting with voters, waving signs and visiting schools. The 37-year-old former music teacher who served for four years in the Hawai`i State House, ending as House minority leader, was a come-from-behind winner in her own party’s primary with …

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