Full Name: Mike White
Name on Ballot: Mike White
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Job: General manager, Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel
Maui County Council member
Place of birth: Oahu
Campaign website: www.mikewhiteforcouncil.com
Job history past 10 years:
General manager, Ka‘anapali Beach Hotel since 1985
Ever run for public office? If so, when? Outcome?
Maui County Council, 2011-present; served in the state Legislature, 1993-1998.
Other civic experience or community service?
Serve/served on the boards of Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, University of Hawaii School of Travel Industry Management Advisory Council, Hawaii Hotel & Lodging Association and Hawaii Employer Council, to name a few.
Anything else you’d like voters to know about you?
I live on a farm in Olinda with pets, including everything from pigs to mini donkeys my pet dogs. I can occasionally be found wood working in my garage. I handcrafted the poi pounder gavel used in the Council’s Chamber.
What makes you qualified to be a Council member?
I have decades of experience in the visitor industry, which provides over 75 percent of the county’s economic activity. This, along with my legislative experience and 30 years of commitment to Maui’s community help me make informed decisions and address the county’s fiscal needs with compassion and balance.
What are your top five priorities for the county?
Developing truly affordable housing; continuing to pass realistic and balanced budgets without placing additional burdens on working families and businesses; identifying ways to efficiently repair and repave county roadways; streamlining county operations and enhancing accountability to residents; resolving the long-standing problem of the Upcountry water meter list.
What is your one big idea?
I believe in a greater level of government accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility. That is why I advocate for realistic budgets and introduced measures to create the Office of the County Auditor, enhance the Board of Ethics, and formed a committee to review our county governance structure.
What do you think about the proposal to go from a mayor/council form of government to a manager/council form?
I support the idea of a council-manager form of government, as our county should be run by a team of experienced professionals hired based on merit and experience – not patronage. Removing a layer of bureaucracy and elevating the level of professionalism will always benefit the community.
What can the Council do to deal with the economic impact from the end of sugar on Maui?
The Council has increased funding to the Office of Economic Development to assist with the end of sugar and Makena Resort. Over the past few years, the Council has also invested $200,000 each year in the Maui Economic Development Board to assist with new business generation and job creation.
Affordable housing is in short supply on Maui. How would you suggest increasing the inventory of affordable housing?
Developing an affordable housing plan for a long period of time is critical. At its root, cost is a function of supply and demand. To lower costs, the Council will have to work with developers to create more economically viable housing options and streamline approval processes without compromising smart growth.