Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: What’s the Policy on Renting Community Centers/Halls?

October 23, 2017, 12:01 PM HST
* Updated October 23, 12:10 PM
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Velma McWayne Community Center in Wailuku. Maui County photo.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his staff. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column. Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa at (808) 270-7855, [email protected]  or mail them to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793.


Q: What’s the purpose of having people stay at the Parks Department sign-in office every day until the day you want to rent the hall? What happened to first-come, first-served for the day you want the hall? Who made up this stupid rule? Not every family has people to stand in line for weeks, eight hours a day, just to rent a hall one-year in advance.

A: The Parks Permit Office would like to reassure you that 1) the only hall that seems to cause such a long wait is the Velma Santos Wailuku Community Center; and 2) the current policy is still first-come, first-served. The difference is that it has eliminated the practice of literally camping out for days in advance, when folks used to actually pitch tents outside the office at War Memorial and live there for weeks, in a virtual “line.” This was not only an eyesore, it was a liability for the County in that people were on-site during hours when all facilities were closed.

The current policy allows people to sign in each day when the office opens, in a first-come, first-served manner, and to sign out when the office closes for the day. They can repeat the process to hold their position “in line” for the date if someone is there to relieve them, until the day comes for them to request the permit. Parks staff say the current policy will remain in place until an alternative and equally fair method can be implemented.

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