small logoPublic Meeting: Joe Bertram (State Representative)
Save Honolua Coalition
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Save Honolua Coalition speaker June 5, 2007: Joe Bertram III House Representative
The main message that I took away from Representative Bertram’s presentation was that the statewide zoning system established in the 60’s and our current land-use and development policies are causing many of our current problems. Joe suggests that we change zoning laws and instead develop neighborhoods into towns that have their own say in how they are created so the towns will have what they need. He suggests that we work with developers and look at the green infrastructure to see where CAN be developed and where not to.

Representative Bertram would like to have the people take back the power from the state level to hold government accountable for what is done and to simplify the process to allow Lahaina town make decisions that will affect Lahaina. The way to do this is to support District voting which will make district representatives accountable for their actions and curtail big money from manipulating current laws. As Maui’s population is exploding we need to go beyond the county level and have individual town governments like most of the other states to decide what we on the west side need and want and don’t want. He stressed that political will is the biggest motivating factor in getting things done right now and that voter turnout is so low on Maui that 10,000 votes can swing an election.

We need to make democracy work again and ask what is best for our community? We need leaders and we need citizens to maintain a constant engagement, it will be a long process to bring power back to a local level, however with all the talk of sustainability, smart growth and general planning going on right now, no time would be better.

Overall Representative Bertram’s message was optimistic, he has a plan to move us forward out of the present quagmire we face and so he has my vote.