RAM GAD POD

RAM GAD POD

By Jason Economou
The REALTORS Association of Maui Government Affairs Director Podcast - Hosted by Jason Economou.
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RAM GAD POD - Max Tornai, Development Director, Habitat for Humanity - Maui

RAM GAD POD

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RAM GAD POD - Councilmember Kelly King, South Maui representative and Chair of the Climate Action and Resilience Committee
Aloha All, The interview starts around the 6:30 mark if you want to skip ahead, but I lead off with a brief discussion of some draft legislation that would undo the "Minatoya Opinion." If you are a REALTOR or are involved in property management, you will want to listen to the intro.   This week's interview is with Councilmember Kelly King, Chair of the Climate Action and Resilience Committee. Councilmember King holds the Council seat for the South Maui residency area, and she also served as Council Chair in 2019. I have enjoyed every opportunity I've had to meet with Councilmember King over the past year, and this interaction is no different. I have never been quiet about my respect and admiration for Kelly King, and I think this interview demonstrates that she is well deserving of that respect. In this episode we discuss her educational background, her many successful business ventures, and some of her concerns for the future well being of Maui County. I enjoyed getting to know more about Kelly King, and I think this episode is a must-hear if you live in Maui County. Enjoy and feel free to send feedback to Jason@RAMaui.com PS: REGISTER TO VOTE!
1:05:40
February 20, 2020
RAM GAD POD - Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura, Upcountry representative and Chair of the Water, Infrastructure, and Transportation Committee
This episode is both an update and an interview. The Interview starts at the 6:50 mark, where I am joined by Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura, Council representative for the Upcountry residency area and Chair of the Water, Infrastructure, and Transportation Committee. Councilmember Sugimura was born and raised in Wailuku, and has been interested in politics since her days as a high school student. Yuki is extremely personable, and she was a delight to talk to. If you enjoy this interview, I highly recommend visiting her at the Upcountry Farmers Marker for her monthly Talk Story with Yuki outreach program.  The update at the start covers the following: Opportunity to Testify: The Environmental, Agricultural, and Cultural Preservation Committee will be meeting on Tuesday, February 18th, at 1:30 p.m., to discuss a bill restricting the use and sale of single-use plastic disposable foodware. I support this legislation, and I encourage you all to look into it and provide your own testimony on the issue. From a policy standpoint, RAM believes our island’s well being depends on our beaches and RAM supports the maintenance of a robust beach environment as a key to a sustainable long-term plan for Maui. Reducing litter and the proliferation of micro-plastics throughout our island is an important step in protecting our beaches and I commend the County Council for moving in that direction. West Maui Community Plan -  The West Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee has two meetings scheduled for next week. Agendas should be available on the CPAC webpage by the end of this week, but dates are as follow: Tuesday, Feb. 18th at 5:30 p.m. in Keopuolani Hall at Waiola Church Thursday, Feb. 20th at 5:30 p.m. in the Social Hall at the Lahaina Civic Center Wailuku Community Association - Upcoming 2020 Annual Wailuku Community Association Meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 12th from 5-7 p.m. at the Empanada Lady restaurant. The guest speaker will be Erin Wade discussing the 1st phase of infrastructure updates in Wailuku and alternate parking locations. Habitat for Humanity 12th Annual Build-A-Thon - Mark your calendars for Friday, Feb. 21st and Saturday, Feb. 22nd for Habitat Maui’s annual Build-a-Thon. The Build-a-Thon is a public awareness and fundraising event. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $100/person in pledges and spend a day on the construction site helping Habitat build affordable housing in Lahaina. Lunch, snack, and door prizes will be provided, and available times are from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. To sign up or for more information call (808) 242-1140 or email yvonne@habitat-maui.org.
1:15:58
February 12, 2020
RAM GAD POD - Brendan O'Colmain, Insurance Agent Team Member, Kit Okazaki/State Farm Insurance
This episode contains both my weekly update, as well as an interview with my dear friend, Brendan O'Colmain, Insurance Agent Team Member with State Farm Insurance at Kit Okazaki's agency in Pukalani. This interview is a long one and it is packed with information on insurance. Brendan does an amazing job of answering common insurance questions in a concise and understandable way, and I walked away knowing way more than when we started. If you are a realtor, this episode is an especially good resource because Brendan tackles some of the most common questions asked by your clients. If you want to skip the intro, the interview starts around the 7:45. Enjoy!
2:34:59
January 29, 2020
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD & Interview with Amy Johnson, Professional Standards Manager for RAM
Aloha Friends, I've been a busy boy this week, so I decided I would save us all a little bit of time and release one episode instead of two. The first 14 minutes or so is a Notes from the GAD style update for January 22, 2020, immediately followed by an interview with my dear friend and colleague Amy Johnson, Professional Standards Manager for RAM. I know this is a bit of a departure from how I usually do things, but you can handle it!  I'll be back next week, but feel free to email me with questions or comments at Jason@RAMaui.com. Mahalo, Jason
1:42:48
January 23, 2020
RAM GAD POD - The GADS POD! Lawrence Carnicelli Interviewing Jason Economou
We are kicking off the 2020 interviews with something special! This episode features former RAM GAD and dear friend to us all, Lawrence Carnicelli, flipping the script and sitting me down for a very long and very fun interview. In this interview I disclose far too much about my personal life, perform impersonations of my parents, discuss how I proposed to my wife, and admit to running around my neighborhood scantily clad. If you ever wanted to know more about me, or if you just want to hear some fun stories, this episode is for you.  Also, it must be said that Lawrence does an outstanding job as the host, and I am very excited for his podcast to come out soon. I'll provide more details on that down the line, but for now I hope you enjoy this very special RAM GADS POD. Mahalo for listening!
2:35:21
January 15, 2020
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for January 14, 2020
Aloha, This is a short update. Listen if you can, or check out the key points below: Opportunity to Testify - One of my goals for the year is to inform the RAM community of more opportunities to testify on issues you may be interested in, even if RAM might not be taking a position on the issue. Increased civic engagement on the part of our members is the key to demonstrating RAM’s values, and enhancing our profile as an organization. With that in mind, I encourage you all to look at the agenda for the upcoming Governance, Ethics, and Transparency Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 21st, at 9 a.m. In particular, there are a couple of proposed charter amendments that the committee will be considering. The first (GET-10(3)) would require an increase in the minimum required percentage of certified real property tax revenues deposited into the Affordable Housing Fund, and the second (GET-10(7)) would establish shorter lifetime term limits for council members of two four-year terms. Both of the proposed amendments would need to pass through committee and the full council, then be included on the general election ballot, prior to becoming law, but they are interesting ideas that are still worth examining and testifying on. If interested, you can send testimony by email to get.committee@mauicounty.us West Maui Community Plan -  The West Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee has two meetings scheduled for next week. The first will be on Tuesday, January 21st at 5 p.m. in Keopuolani Hall at Waiola Church, and the second will be on Thursday, January 23rd at 5:30 p.m. at the Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall. Agendas have not been posted for either meeting yet, but last week the CPAC started on the Growth Framework portion of the West Maui Community Plan update and began examining alternative growth maps for West Maui (which are available on the CPAC Page at wearemaui.org). If you are interested in the future of West Maui, or you just want to learn more about the community plan process, please consider attending these meetings. The County is Hiring: County Clerk and Deputy County Clerk - The County of Maui is recruiting for the full time positions of County Clerk and Deputy County Clerk. If interested, you can download the application at:  https://tinyurl.com/CountyClerkApp, and Submit your completed application, résumé, cover letter, and three professional references by email to recruitment@mauicounty.us by 4:30 p.m. HST on January 16, 2020. If you want more details regarding the functions of the job or required qualifications,  you can find links at mauicounty.us Heads up on HAR Priority Bill - RAM and the Hawaii Association of Realtors are currently advocating for a bill that would streamline the land use process for affordable housing projects by allowing the counties to reclassify lands that are 15 to 100 acres, provided that 50% or more of the units are affordable at or below 140% of the Area Median Income. We believe this legislation will better empower the counties to meet their affordable housing needs while streamlining the regulatory process as it relates to district boundary amendments. The bill can largely be credited to RAM’s own Lawrence Carnicelli, and you can expect to hear more about it throughout the legislative session. The reason I bring this up is because I will be calling on everyone to provide testimony in support of this legislation over the coming months, and I don’t want it to be a surprise when I do. Please feel free to email me at jason@ramaui.com if you have any questions.
07:40
January 15, 2020
RAM GAD POD - Regarding Property Taxes and the Mayor's Veto
Over the past few months I have been talking a lot about the County's real property tax reform efforts. Back in November, the County Council passed two bills that would have the effect of redefining and consolidating several of the property tax classifications, as well as creating a new tiered property tax system. RAM consistently opposed these bills because the Council did not engage in sufficient community outreach and education prior to passing them.  Last week, Mayor Victorino agreed with RAM's position and vetoed Bill 59 related to consolidating tax classifications.  On Friday, December 27th, 2019, at 1:30 p.m., the County Council will hold a special meeting to discuss and override the Mayor's veto. In this episode of the RAM GAD POD I invite you all to provide your input to the County Council regarding this issue, and I share the Mayor's letter and my testimony on behalf of RAM. Here is a little sample of my testimony: Throughout the process of preparing and passing Bill 59, public sentiment has consistently been that the Council should conduct more education and outreach prior to its passage. The Council has been somewhat responsive to these calls for more outreach by going out and holding community meetings, but that is a step that should have been taken prior to passage of the Bill, as opposed to after the fact. The Mayor has given this Council an opportunity to get more community buy-in while highlighting a major concern regarding this legislation, and the Council should not pass it up. As the Mayor pointed out in his letter dated December 19, 2019, the new “non-owner occupied” classification combines four very different existing classifications that currently all have different rates. Without knowing what the Council might propose as the new rate for the new “non-owner occupied” class, there is too much uncertainty for our taxpayers. If the Mayor’s calculations are even close to correct, it means some taxpayers will likely see sharp increases or decreases in their tax rates with no real express legislative purpose other than to make things less complicated for the County. Our taxpayers deserve a more thoughtful legislative process that involves their input. On November 22, 2019, the day Bill 59 was passed, everyone testifying in the chamber asked the Council to conduct more education and outreach prior to passing Bills 58 and 59. Though the Council passed both bills in spite of public sentiment, you have been given another opportunity to listen to your constituents and provide the education they have been requesting. I understand that the Council is trying to accomplish a difficult task, but the public should be involved throughout this process, and not just after the fact. On November 22, Councilmember Rawlins-Fernandez asked how much education is necessary to pass any sort of bill. There is no one answer to that question, but it should be more than a couple of community meetings the week of second and final reading, or after the bill has been passed. It should be enough to help taxpayers understand if and why the County will take more of their hard-earned money. It should be enough to make us confident that you have our best interest in mind and that you know what you are doing. It should be enough to make the Mayor’s veto unnecessary. It should be more than was conducted for Bill 59. Therefore, I respectfully request that the Council NOT override the Mayor’s veto, and focus instead on crafting better legislation with public involvement. Please provide testimony on your own behalf as well! Mahalo, Jason
09:50
December 27, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Councilmember Mike Molina, Chair of the Governance, Ethics and Transparency Committee
Mike Molina holds the Maui County Council seat for the Makawao-Paia-Haiku voting district, and he is the Chair of the Governance, Ethics and Transparency Committee. Aside from his current role, Mike Molina is no stranger to public service. In this interview we touched on his military experience, his time as a teacher, the ten years he previously spent on the County Council, as well as his time working in the Arakawa administration.  In addition to all that, Councilmember Molina was kind enough to share some points of pride, areas of regret, and he even provided some thoughts on a potential run for Mayor down the line. All in all, this was a great conversation with one of the most influential political figures in Maui County over the past two decades. I enjoyed getting to learn more about Mike Molina, and I hope you enjoy listening to it.  Mahalo, Jason
47:31
December 19, 2019
RAM GAD POD - BONUS: RAM Real Property Tax Reform Community Meeting w/ Councilmember Alice Lee and Marcy Martin, Maui County RPT Administrator
The Maui County Council recently passed two property tax reform bills on second and final reading. These bills create a framework for a tiered property tax system, and amend the names and definitions for some of the classifications. Though these pieces of legislation ultimately passed, public testimony clearly demonstrated a need for the Council to engage in further public outreach and education prior to setting new tax rates or defining tier ranges.  With that in mind, members of the County Council have been holding community meetings throughout Maui County, and Councilmember Alice Lee was kind enough to hold one at RAM! On Friday, December 13th, RAM members were invited to attend a RAM Community Meeting regarding the Council's real property tax reform efforts. This episode is the audio from that meeting, which featured Councilmember Alice Lee, County Real Property Tax Administrator Marcy Martin and Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeff Ueoka. As this was recorded in a large room, some of the audio might be a little hard to hear, but this should be informative if not interesting. If you have any questions on anything you hear, feel free to email me at Jason@RAMaui.com.
1:48:48
December 18, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for 12/12/2019
Sorry! No interview this week, but I have a great guest lined up for next week. In the meantime, please settle for the following Notes from the GAD: Real Property Tax Reform: As you are aware, Bill 58 and Bill 59, relating to tax classifications and tiered real property tax rates, passed in the Council a few weeks back. Nevertheless, there was a lot of testimony that spoke to a need for more public outreach and education prior to implementing the framework outlined in these pieces of legislation. With that in mind, on Friday, Dec. 13 from 9-11 a.m., RAM will be hosting Councilmember Alice Lee for a presentation regarding the Council’s real property tax reform efforts, followed by a question and answer session. Water Shut Down in Paia and Kuau: Tonight, Thursday, Dec. 12 all customers on the County water system in Paia and Kuau will have their water shut off from approximately 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. (Friday morning). Depending on the conditions encountered while work is being conducted, customers in Sprecklesville may also be affected. Please store water and plan accordingly. Central Maui Landfill: Beginning Sunday, Dec. 15 the landfill will begin opening on Sundays for residential green waste disposal only from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. No commercial green waste or commercial/residential trash will be accepted. Please note that illegal dumping of green waste is commonly linked to the spread of invasive species, and should be avoided. West Maui Community Plan: The next Community Plan Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 17 at Waiola Church’s Keopuolani Hall, and it will focus on a final review of policies and actions related to all five Goals of the Community Plan. Agenda and other information available at www.wearemaui.org. Economic Outlook: NAR recently held its Real Estate Forecast Summit and the information shared was generally pretty optimistic. A group of prominent real estate industry economists that attended released a consensus forecast that projects continued but slowing economic growth in 2020. NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, stated that he believes real estate to be “on firm ground with little chance of price declines,” but he cautioned that “more supply is needed to assure home prices as well as rents do not consistently outgrow income gains.” Overall, a recession is seen as unlikely in 2020, but it is not completely out of the question. 100 Real Estate Agents Who Care: Pohaku Kepler is a senior at Kihei Charter School and his goal is to get 100 REALTORS to donate $100 each in order to raise $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity. All the money raised will go towards helping families right here in Maui County. Check out www.100RealEstateAgentsWhoCare.com for more information and to donate. REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts: REALTORS, please sign up for mobile alerts by texting the word “REALTOR” to the number 30644. This is an easy way to ensure you are in the loop next time RAM needs your help.
11:52
December 12, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for December 3rd, 2019
Here are the key points if you don't have time to listen. Water Shut-Down in Kula: On Thursday, December 5th, a portion of homes in the Poli Poli and Middle Roads area will have their water shut-off from approximately 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Department of Water Supply customers along these roads are encouraged to store water and adjust schedules as appropriate. Real Property Tax Reform: As you are aware,  Bills 58 and 59, relating to tax classifications and tiered real property tax rates, passed in the Council on second and final reading a couple of weeks back. Nevertheless, there was a lot of testimony that spoke to a need for more public outreach and education prior to implementing the framework outlined in these pieces of legislation. With that in mind, on Friday, December 13th, from 9-11 am, RAM will be hosting Councilmember Alice Lee for a presentation regarding the Council’s real property tax reform efforts, followed by a question and answer session. This event is free but it is for RAM members, and we ask that you please register in advance. Just a word of warning, there is a possibility that this event will be canceled due to scheduling issues that we are working on resolving, but I will keep everyone posted on that. Maui Landlord Series: Due to the success of our annual Landlord Summit, RAM and the Maui Homeless Alliance are organizing a series of workshops to educate landlords and get them working with housing assistance programs. The first workshop is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 9, from 9 - 11 am at MEO. This Maui Landlord Series workshop will feature a HUD informational session as well as a landlord/tenant rights panel discussion. Moreover, we will also be accepting food donations for the Maui Food Bank. If you know any landlords or property managers who might be interested in attending, please have them register for this free event at eventbrite.com. SMA and Shoreline Rules Changes: The Planning Department will be holding informational meetings on proposed changes to the SMA and shoreline rules for Maui island. At these meetings, representatives from the Planning Department will give an overview of the proposed changes and the rationale behind them, answer questions, and take input and suggestions. The meetings will begin at 5 pm, and the dates and locations are: Paia: Wednesday, Dec. 4, Kaunoa Senior Center, 401 Alakapa Place Lahaina: Wednesday, Dec. 11, Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall, 1840 Honoapiilani Highway The proposed rules and some Frequently Asked Questions can be found at https://www.mauicounty.gov/121/Planning-Department under "Hot Topics." Also available there is the presentation that Dr. Chip Fletcher gave to the Maui Planning Commission on October 22. 100 Real Estate Agents Who Care: Pohaku Kepler is a senior at Kihei Charter School and his goal is to get 100 REALTORS to donate $100 each in order to raise $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity. All the money raised will go towards helping families right here in Maui County. Check out www.100RealEstateAgentsWhoCare.com for more information and to donate.
09:37
December 4, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Councilmember Tasha Kama, Presiding Officer Pro Tempore of the Maui County Council
Tasha Kama is Presiding Officer Pro Tempore of the Maui County Council, and she holds the Council seat for the Kahului residency area.  Writing a description for this episode is extremely difficult, because I don't want to come off as too bias, but it is no secret that I am a fan. Councilmember Kama is not the type of person that immediately comes to mind when you think "politician," but that is what makes her so exceptional in my book. Having raised 11 children on Maui and spent years as an activist and community organizer well before seeking political office, it is undeniable that CM Kama is deeply rooted in the Maui community and is genuinely committed to making Maui a better place. Regardless of whether you agree with CM Kama's approach to politics or not, she is someone who is certainly deserving of respect and admiration. I'm going to go ahead and think of this episode a "Thanksgiving Special," because it felt more like I was getting together with my favorite auntie than conducting an interview. Seriously, after I stopped recording she gave me lemon bars and we chatted about Christmas decorations. I hope you enjoy this episode, and I am thankful for all you folks who keep listening. 
39:55
November 27, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for November 26, 2019
Short update today! If you don't have time to listen, here are the highlights: Real Property Tax Reform: Bill 58 and Bill 59, relating to tax classifications and tiered real property tax rates, passed in the Council on second and final reading. Nevertheless, there was a lot of testimony that spoke to a need for more public outreach and education prior to implementing the framework outlined in these pieces of legislation. With that in mind, on Friday, December 13th, from 9 a.m.-11 a.m., RAM will be hosting Councilmember Alice Lee and Marcy Martin for a presentation regarding the Council’s real property tax reform efforts, followed by a question and answer session. This event is free for RAM members, and we ask that you please register to attend through the Paragon MLS homepage Maui Landlord Series: Due to the success of our annual Landlord Summit, RAM and the Maui Homeless Alliance are organizing a series of workshops to educate landlords and get them working with housing assistance programs. The first workshop is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 9, from 9 - 11 a.m. at MEO. This Maui Landlord Series workshop will feature a HUD informational session as well as a landlord/tenant rights panel discussion. Moreover, we will also be accepting food donations for the Maui Food Bank. If you know any landlords or property managers who might be interested in attending, please have them register for this free event at eventbrite.com. SMA and Shoreline Rules Changes: The Planning Department will be holding informational meetings on proposed changes to the SMA and shoreline rules for Maui island. At these meetings, representatives from the Planning Department will give an overview of the proposed changes and the rationale behind them, answer questions, and take input and suggestions. The meetings will begin at 5 p.m., and the locations and dates are as follows: Paia: Wednesday, Dec. 4, Kaunoa Senior Center, 401 Alakapa Place Lahaina: Wednesday, Dec. 11, Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall, 1840 Honoapiilani Highway The proposed rules and some Frequently Asked Questions can be found at https://www.mauicounty.gov/121/Planning-Department under "Hot Topics." Also available there is the presentation that Dr. Chip Fletcher gave to the Maui Planning Commission on October 22. REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts: REALTORS, please sign up for mobile alerts by texting the word “REALTOR” to the number 30644. Aside from the initial confirmation text, you will only receive notifications when a call for action is initiated, a reminder regarding voter registration, and a reminder to vote in the upcoming elections. This is an easy way to ensure you are in the loop next time RAM needs your help. 100 Real Estate Agents Who Care: Pohaku Kepler is a senior at Kihei Charter School and his goal is to get 100 REALTORS to donate $100 each in order to raise $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity. All the money raised will go towards helping families right here in Maui County. Check out www.100RealEstateAgentsWhoCare.com for more information and to donate.
11:14
November 27, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Max Tornai, Development Director, Habitat for Humanity - Maui
This week's guest is Max Tornai, Development Director for Habitat for Humanity on Maui. I met Max at the Maui Nui Attainable Housing forum and we immediately hit it off. Habitat for Humanity is an exceptional organization, and I knew I needed to have Max as a guest to discuss some of the great work they are doing right here on Maui. In this episode we discuss the various ways in which Habitat Maui is serving the community, opportunities for our REALTORS to get involved (www.100RealEstateAgentsWhoCare.com), as well as Max's history and thoughts on how our County can increase housing opportunities. If you are looking to learn more about Habitat for Humanity and the many opportunities they provide to serve the community, I encourage you to listen to this episode.  Mahalo, Jason
1:28:24
November 22, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Michael P. Victorino, Mayor of the County of Maui
The title on this episode is real. The Honorable Michael P. Victorino, Mayor of the County of Maui, really did take the time to sit down for a RAM GAD POD interview on October 3rd, and it was awesome. Mayor Victorino is an energetic and approachable leader with a wide range of professional experience and a fascinating life story. In this interview we learn a lot about the Mayor, his decision making process, issues he has evolved on, and his top concerns for Maui County moving forward. My favorite part of the interview was learning that that Mayor loves comic books and hearing about his humble beginnings, but even the policy discussions were meaningful and enjoyable. My one regret is that I start the interview by introducing Mayor Victorino as Mayor of the "Maui of County," but what's  done is done and I will have to live with that shame forever. Nevertheless, this is still a great episode overall and I hope you enjoy it.  Mahalo! Jason
49:42
November 22, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for November 19, 2019
Below are some of the highlights from this week's notes, but give this episode a listen for further discussion of ongoing real property tax reform measures and to hear about the NAR Conference & Expo in San Francisco.   Real Property Tax Reform - Community Meeting: Councilmember Tasha Kama will be holding a community meeting at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20th, at the Kahului Community center located at 275 Uhu Street, Kahului. Marcy Martin, Senior Real Property Technical Officer for the Department of Finance, will provide a brief presentation on the nature of the proposed changes, followed by an opportunity for attendees to ask questions. West Maui Community Plan: The next CPAC meeting will be on Tuesday, November 19th at Waiola Church’s Keopuolani Hall at 5:30 p.m., and will focus on policies and actions related to Goal 2.3: Responsible Stewardship of Resources, Culture and Character. There will also be a meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 21st at King kamehameha III Elementary School Cafeteria, which will focus on policies and actions related to Goal 2.2: A Complete, Balanced and Connected Transportation network. Agendas and additional information can be found at www.wearemaui.org. SMA and Shoreline Rules Changes: The Planning Department will be holding informational meetings on proposed changes to the SMA and shoreline rules for Maui island. At these meeting, representatives from the Planning Department will give an overview of the proposed changes and the rational behind them, answer questions, and take input and suggestions. The meetings will begin at 5 p.m., and the locations and dates are as follows: Wailuku: November 20th, Kalana Pakui Building, 250 S. High Street Paia: December 4th, Kaunoa Senior Center, 401 Alakapa Place Lahaina: December 11th, Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall, 1840 Honoapiilani Highway The proposed rules and some Frequently Asked Questions can be found at https://www.mauicounty.gov/121/Planning-Department under "Hot Topics."  Also available there is the presentation that Dr. Chip Fletcher gave to the Maui Planning Commission on October 22. REALTOR Party Mobile Alerts: REALTORS, please sign up for mobile alerts by texting the word “REALTOR” to the number 30644. Aside from the initial confirmation text, you will only receive notifications when a call for action is initiated, a reminder regarding voter registration, and a reminder to vote in the upcoming elections. This is an easy way to ensure you are in the loop next time RAM needs your help. 100 Real Estate Agents Who Care: Pohaku Kepler is a senior at Kihei Charter School and his goal is to get 100 REALTORS to donate $100 each in order to raise $10,000 for Habitat for Humanity. All the money raised will go towards helping 2-4 families right here in Maui County. Check out the “100 Real Estate Agents Who Care - Maui” Facebook page for more information.
23:53
November 19, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Albert Hahn, Wastewater Reclamation Division Chief for the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management
Hello Friends, This week's guest is Albert Hahn, Wastewater Reclamation Division Chief for the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management. Albert is a kind, intelligent and dedicated individual who has caught a lot of unwarranted negativity lately. Why? Well, Albert oversees the County's recycled water program, which is at the heart of the Maui County injection well case being heard by the Supreme Court this week. As a result, he has been called a "criminal polluter" and been blamed for killing Maui's reefs. In reality, Albert Hahn is an individual who cares deeply about the environment and who has the moral courage to stand by his professional opinion in the face of public backlash. Whether you agree with Mayor Victorino's position or not, this episode will give you a lot to think about, and it will give you a little insight into who Albert Hahn really is. 
1:41:55
November 8, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD 11/5/2019 (w/ request for assistance)
Real Property Tax Reforms: (ACTION REQUESTED) On November 8th, the County Council will be considering several changes to the County’s real property tax system. The most significant change is a tiered structure for property taxes, but the Council will also be discussing revised classifications and doing away with condominium declarations to the Department of Finance. The plan to get rid of annual condo declarations to the department of finance is VERY BAD, and it could have some major ramifications on tax rates and affordable housing. I mentioned this last week, but I failed to convey proper distress about the issue of doing away with these condo declarations to the department of finance, that was a mistake. I need to give credit to Tom Croly, who you might know from his work with the Maui Vacation Rentals Association, for cluing me into what I was missing. Some of you may recall that the County tried something along these lines about 2 years ago, and RAM played a major role in stopping it. If these bills move past the first reading, we may need to have a call for action to stop them again. The key issue we should be alarmed over is that one of the property tax reform bills, referred to as the classifications bill, “eliminates the need for condominium owners to declare the actual use of their units to the Department of Finance. Instead, condominium units will be classified based on their highest and best use unless an exception applies.” Well, based on this there are about 2,000 apartment-zoned condominium owners that may get stuck paying the “short term rental” tax rate unless they qualify for the owner-occupied exception. If you are a RAM member, you should be aware that we advocate for taxation based on actual use, rather than highest and best use. Moreover, RAM takes a position that this “highest and best use” method of taxation will have a negative impact on the inventory and affordability of long term rentals in such properties. I encourage you all to submit written testimony via email to county.clerk@mauicounty.us, and feel free to copy your County Council members on those emails. Moreover, I encourage you to testify in person on Friday, November 8th at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers on the 8th Floor, 200 South High Street. Draft EIS filed for EMI: Alexander & Baldwin and EMI have filed a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed lease of water in the East Maui areas of Nahiku, Ke’anae, Honomanu, and Huelo. A statutory 45-day public review and comment period is now open and will continue through November 7, 2019. West Maui Community Plan: There are two Community Plan Action Committee meetings this week. The first meeting is Tuesday, November 5th at Waiola Church’s Keopuolani Hall at 5:30 p.m., and the second meeting is Thursday, November 7th at King Kamehameha III Elementary School Cafeteria at 6:30 p.m. For meeting agendas and more details visit www.wearemaui.org. Maui Boards and Commissions: Applicants are being sought for 42 vacancies on Maui County boards, commissions, councils, and committees. The application deadline is Nov. 15, 2019. Anyone interested in serving on a board or commission should first apply online at www.mauicounty.gov/Boards, or pick up a paper application in the County building.
16:23
November 5, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Community Engagement Panel Discussion
Aloha All, Thursday episodes generally feature an interview between me and a guest, but I've decided to try something a little different this week. Instead of an interview, this episode features audio from a panel discussion I was a part of at the recent Maui Nui Attainable Housing Forum presented by the County of Maui, Office of the Mayor, the Department of Housing and Human Concerns, and the Maui Chamber of Commerce. The forum, and this discussion, took place at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center on October 16, 2019. The following discussion was focused on community engagement and was moderated by Pamela Eaton from the Department of Planning. The members of the panel were as follows: Stan Franco, Housing Chair for Stand Up Maui Saumalu Mataafa, Executive Assistant in the Department of Management Rick Nava, Chairman of the Board for the Maui Chamber of Commerce and Director of the West Maui Taxpayers' Association Joe Pluta, Vice President of the West Maui Taxpayers' Association Bruce U'u, Hawaii Field Representative at the Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters Michael Williams, President of Maui Tomorrow Jason Economou, RAM GAD I'll warn you now that the sound quality isn't great, but at least I don't make you sit through advertisements like every other podcast you listen to.
1:07:21
October 31, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for October 29, 2019
Here are the notes if you're too busy to listen: Public Hearing Regarding Unpermitted Vacation Rentals: The Planning Department has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm at the Kalana Pakui conference room, 250 S. High Street, Wailuku, regarding amending the Department’s rules relating to fines for unpermitted transient vacation rental operations. The proposed amended rules would significantly increase the limits of civil fines for unlawful operation of a transient vacation rental. Real Property Tax Reforms: On November 8th, the County Council will be considering several changes to the County’s real property tax system. The most significant change is a tiered structure for property taxes, but the Council will also be discussing revised classifications and doing away with condominium declarations to the Department of Finance. For further information check out Council’s 3 Minutes from this past weekend, and check the agenda when it gets posted to the Council’s calendar. Consolidated Plan Survey: The County is seeking public input for the 2020-2024 County of Maui Consolidated Plan Survey. The deadline to complete the survey is October 31, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. Hele Mai Maui 2040 Transportation Plan: The Hele Mai Maui 2040 Transportation Plan is available and open for public review until October 31, 2019. To comment directly on the full plan, follow this link. In addition to commenting on the plan, you can also take a survey regarding transportation projects and funding by following this link. Draft EIS filed for EMI: Alexander & Baldwin and EMI have filed a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed lease of water in the East Maui areas of Nahiku, Ke’anae, Honomanu, and Huelo. A statutory 45-day public review and comment period is now open and will continue through November 7, 2019. There will also be a Special Meeting of the Board of Water Supply on November 4, 2019 at 9 a.m. in the Planning Department Conference Room, at which time they will also accept testimony related to comments on the Draft EIS. Wailuku First Friday Celebrates Dia de los Muertos on November 1st: SMALL TOWN * BIG ART, a collaboration of the National Endowment of the Arts, County of Maui and Hale Hō‘ike‘ike at the Bailey House/ Maui Historical Society, is proud to support Wailuku First Friday’s Día de los Muertos community event on Friday, November 1, 2019. For more information, check out the SMALL TOWN * BIG ART website. Maui Boards and Commissions: Applicants are being sought for 42 vacancies on Maui County boards, commissions, councils, and committees. The application deadline is Nov. 15, 2019. Anyone interested in serving on a board or commission should first apply online at www.mauicounty.gov/Boards, or pick up a paper application in the County building.
12:12
October 29, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Lawrence Carnicelli, Chair of the Maui Planning Commission and former RAM GAD
Lawrence Carnicelli is well known among our members as the former Government Affairs Director, but he is also Chair of the Maui Planning Commission and Managing Director for Olowalu Elua Associates. I started the podcast with the intent of digging into Lawrence's past and learning all about his work with the planning commission and Olowalu Elua, but that didn't really happen. Instead, we ended up talking about our parents, the nature of America, lobbying and various other things friends chat about, which is much better in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, we learn a lot about Lawrence in this episode and we get into some deeply personal topics, but it is a lot more of a conversation than an interview. I wish every episode was as much fun as this one to record, but I would probably never get any real work done if that were the case. We enjoyed making this episode and I hope you enjoy listening. Mahalo, Jason
2:21:39
October 24, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for 10/22/2019
This is a Notes from the GAD episode, but I also read an article by Robert H. Thomas originally published here: https://www.inversecondemnation.com/inversecondemnation/2019/10/who-is-in-charge-at-the-county-of-maui-scotus-oa-hinges-on-internal-dispute-over-who-can-settle.html Here are the Updates: Wet Maui Community Plan: There will be two meetings of the Community Plan Advisory Committee this week. The first is on Tuesday, October 22 at Waiola Church’s Keopuolani Hall, and the second will be on Thursday, October 24 at the Lahaina Intermediate School Cafeteria. Both meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will focus on policies and actions for all five Goals in the Community Plan. Agendas are available at www.wearemaui.org . Draft EIS filed for EMI: Alexander & Baldwin and EMI have filed a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed lease of water in the East Maui areas of Nahiku, Ke’anae, Honomanu, and Huelo. A statutory 45-day public review and comment period is now open and will continue through November 7, 2019. Those submitting comments should send them to the approving agency (Board of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii, Mr. Ian Hirokawa, ian.c.hirokawa@hawaii.gov, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI 96813) and copy the applicant and consultant (Wilson Okamoto Corporation, 1907 S. Beretania Street, Suite 400, Honolulu, HI 96826, Mr. Earl Matsukawa, AICP, waterleaseeis@wilsonokamoto.com). FHA Condo Rules: The new FHA Condo Rules went into effect on October 15th. The rule changes will make condominiums a more accessible option for homebuyers that rely on FHA financing. For more information, follow this link to a video from NAR. While you are at it, you should also check out their update on the NFIP, and if you have detailed questions that don’t get answered, reach out to Austin Perez at NAR. That guy is a magical genius when it comes to this stuff. FY 2021 Mayor’s Community budget Meetings: Mayor Victorino is holding his final scheduled community meeting regarding the FY 2021 budget. The final meeting will be in East Maui/Hana - 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 28th, at Helene Hall Maui Boards and Commissions: Applicants are being sought for 42 vacancies on Maui County boards, commissions, councils and committees. The application deadline is Nov. 15, 2019. Anyone interested in serving on a board or commission should first apply online at www.mauicounty.gov/Boards, or pick up a paper application in the County building. RAM GAD POD: Available on most platforms! Just Google RAM GAD POD and take your pick. This week’s guest will either by Lawrence Carnicelli, or I may be uploading audio from the panel I was on at the Maui Nui Attainable Housing Conference.
21:57
October 23, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for October 15, 2019
You all are busy, so if you don't have the time to listen, here are the key updates: Renewals for Conditional B&B, Short-Term Rental, and Special Use Permits: On Wednesday, October 16th, at 9 a.m. the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee will be considering a bill related to renewals for B&B, STR and Special Use permits. The big change that may be of particular concern is the change to the timing of renewal applications. Currently the law states: “Permit renewal applications shall be submitted to the department within ninety days prior to the permit expiration date…” The proposed bill would change that language to say: “Permit renewal applications shall be submitted to the department no later than sixty days prior to expiration of the permit, after which the department shall not accept any renewal applications.” That is a big change in policy that may catch a lot of people off guard. Maui County Real Property Tax: Real Property Tax Reform is back on the agenda for the Economic Development and Budget Committee on Thursday, October 17th, at 9 a.m. Some of the bigger changes we should all keep an eye on are proposed tiered tax rates for Owner-Occupied, Non-Owner-Occupied, Short Term Rental and Commercial Industrial classifications; changes to condominium reporting requirements; changes to classifications; and new dedications and tax benefits for long-term affordable rentals and long-term rentals. Draft EIS filed for EMI: Alexander & Baldwin and EMI have filed a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed lease of water in the East Maui areas of Nahiku, Ke’anae, Honomanu, and Huelo. A statutory 45-day public review and comment period is now open and will continue through November 7, 2019. Those submitting comments should send them to the approving agency (Board of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii, Mr. Ian Hirokawa, ian.c.hirokawa@hawaii.gov, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI 96813) and copy the applicant and consultant (Wilson Okamoto Corporation, 1907 S. Beretania Street, Suite 400, Honolulu, HI 96826, Mr. Earl Matsukawa, AICP, waterleaseeis@wilsonokamoto.com). FHA Condo Rules: The new FHA Condo Rules go into effect on October 15th. The rule changes will make condominiums a more accessible option for homebuyers that rely on FHA financing. For more information, follow this link to a video from NAR. FY 2021 Mayor’s Community budget Meetings: Mayor Victorino is still holding community meetings throughout Maui County. The remaining meetings are: Molokai - 3:30 p.m., Monday, October 21st, at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center; Lanai - 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 22nd, at the Hale Kupuna O’ Lana’i; East Maui/Hana - 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 28th, at Helene Hall Maui Boards and Commissions: Applicants are being sought for 42 vacancies on Maui County boards, commissions, councils and committees. The application deadline is Nov. 15, 2019. Anyone interested in serving on a board or commission should first apply online at www.mauicounty.gov/Boards, or pick up a paper application in the County building. RAM GAD POD: Available on most platforms! Just Google RAM GAD POD and take your pick. This week’s guest will be Mayor Michael Victorino.
13:56
October 16, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Jessica Crouse, Assistant Housing Administrator for the County of Maui
Jessica Crouse is an Assistant Housing Administrator for the County of Maui and an all-around awesome person. I've been friends with Jessica for about a year now, and I am continually impressed by her thoughtful and kind approach to helping the people of Maui County. Listen to this episode if you want to hear from a bright and talented person with a spectacularly bright future. I respect and admire Jessica Crouse and you will too after listening to this episode.
1:08:50
October 10, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for 10/8/2019
Updates for the week of October 8, 2019: West Maui Community Plan: Next Community Plan Advisory Committee meetings will take place on Tuesday, October 8th, at Keopuolani Hall at Waiola Church and Thursday, October 10th at Lahaina Civic Center’s Social Hall. Both meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. Agendas for both meetings can be found on the We Are Maui CPAC Page. Draft EIS filed for EMI: Alexander & Baldwin and EMI have filed a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed lease of water in the East Maui areas of Nahiku, Ke’anae, Honomanu, and Huelo. A statutory 45-day public review and comment period is now open and will continue through November 7, 2019. Those submitting comments should send them to the approving agency (Board of Land and Natural Resources, State of Hawaii, Mr. Ian Hirokawa, ian.c.hirokawa@hawaii.gov, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, HI 96813) and copy the applicant and consultant (Wilson Okamoto Corporation, 1907 S. Beretania Street, Suite 400, Honolulu, HI 96826, Mr. Earl Matsukawa, AICP, waterleaseeis@wilsonokamoto.com). Maui Tomorrow 30th Anniversary Celebration: Maui Tomorrow is celebrating their 30th anniversary with a potluck picnic near Third Entrance of Makena State Park on Saturday, October 12th from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Maui Nui Attainable Housing Forum: The Maui Nui Attainable Housing Forum is October 15th and 16th at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. The event begins Tuesday, October 15th from 5-9 p.m., with a free open house featuring upcoming projects, information regarding Maui’s housing crisis, and information on how to prepare for housing opportunities. The program on Wednesday, October 16th, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will feature panel discussions, working groups to determine solutions, and networking opportunities. Participation on Wednesday will cost $60 and participants should register in advance. FY 2021 Mayor’s Community budget Meetings: Mayor Victorino is still holding community meetings throughout Maui County. The remaining meetings are: South Maui - 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 8th, at the Kihei Community Center Molokai - 3:30 p.m., Monday, October 21st, at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center Lanai - 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, October 22nd, at the Hale Kupuna O’ Lana’i East Maui/Hana - 5:00 p.m., Monday, October 28th, at Helene Hall RAM GAD POD: Available on most platforms! Just Google RAM GAD POD and take your pick. This week’s guest will be Jessica Crouse, Assistant Housing Administrator for the County of Maui.
08:20
October 9, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Autumn Ness, Community Organizer and Political Activist
Autumn Ness is an environmentalist, community organizer, political activist, and self described "radical." Though Autumn is well known for her time on Councilmember Elle Cochran's staff, her service to the people of Maui goes far beyond being a County employee.  Listen to this episode if you want to learn about a fascinating person who is at the forefront of some of Hawaii's most pressing issues. My favorite parts of the interview were learning about Autumn's experience living in Japan, and discussing the ways in which travel changed her perspective on public policy and the role of government. Aside from that, I just enjoy hanging out with Autumn and recording this podcast was a blast.  After the episode, check out the article Autumn wrote for the Hawai'i Center for Food Safety Action Fund that we referenced a few times in the episode. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/HIFoodPAC/photos/a.1448112392101221/2419476541631463/?type=3&theater . 
1:55:38
October 3, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD 10/1/2019
Notes from the GAD - 10/1/2019 County Real Property Tax Reform: This week the County Council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee will be discussing proposed recommendations relating to property tax reform. The meeting is on Thursday, October 3, at 9 a.m. RAM had an opportunity to provide feedback on the proposals, which appears to have been ignored based on the TIG’s final report and attachments. County Council Meeting/Vacation Rentals: In addition to the various committee meetings throughout the week, there will be a regular meeting of the County Council on Friday, October 4th at 9 a.m. One issue being discussed is a bill that is up for first reading that would impact applications for renewal of bed and breakfast, short-term rental home and special use permits. The current language of the bill would alter the renewal period from anytime within ninety days before the expiration date to needing to be filed a minimum of sixty days prior to the expiration date. For more info, sign up for emails from the Maui Vacation Rental Association. NFIP Lapse Avoided: President Trump signed H.R. 4378 into law on Friday evening, extending the National Flood Insurance Program’s funding through November 21st. NAR is still working toward a 5-year extension. New FHA Condo Rule: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released the long-awaited final rule on project approval for single-family condominiums insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). To assist REALTORS in understanding the impact, NAR has created a very informative video and has uploaded related notes and documents to the Condominiums topic page. West Maui Community Plan: The Community Plan Advisory Committee will have its next meeting on Tuesday, October 1st, at 5:30 p.m. at Keopuolani Hall at Waiola Church. Hele Mai Maui 2040 Transportation Plan: The Hele Mai Maui 2040 Transportation Plan is now available for public review. Please feel free to provide comments on the draft to the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization by October 31, 2019, and/or take a survey on transportation projects and funding. RAM GAD POD: Next interview is coming out Thursday, and my guest will be Autumn Ness, community organizer and local activist. I’ll be interviewing the Mayor on October 3rd, so send me questions for the Mayor if you have any.
13:50
October 1, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Michael Williams, President of Maui Tomorrow
Michael Williams is the current President of Maui Tomorrow and an all around fascinating person. Towards the end of the interview I jokingly say that I am striving to be like him, but there is a lot of truth in that statement. In this episode we learn about Michael's impressive legal career, we delve into the issues that concern him the most, and we discuss policy ideas to improve Maui County. If you want a couple of good book recommendations or you just like to hear from interesting people, this is a good episode to check out. However, I do need to apologize for the sound quality on this episode. We recorded outside so there is extra background noise, and the table that the mic was on gets knocked a bunch. Sorry! 
1:47:48
September 26, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for 9/24/2019
Hello Friends,  This is just a quick update, so listen if you have the time or look below: FY 2021 Mayor’s Community Budget Meetings: Mayor Michael Victorino will be hosting a series of community meetings to afford residents the opportunity to share their priorities and concerns in preparation for the 2021 Budget.     - Central Maui: 5:30 pm, Monday, September 30th at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center     - Paia-Haiku: 5:30 pm, Monday, October 7th at the Paia Community Center     - South Maui: 5:30 pm, Tuesday, October 8th at the Kihei Community Center     - Molokai: 3:30 pm, Monday, October 21st at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center     - Lanai: 3:30 pm, Tuesday, October 22nd at the Hale Kupuna O’Lana’i     - East Maui-Hana: 5:00 pm, Monday, October 28th at Helene Hall Maui MPO: The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is having a Policy Board Meeting on Friday, September 27th, at 8:30 a.m., in the planning conference room located at 250 South High Street. They will be discussing the recent Hawaii Congress of Planning Officials Conference, and reviewing the draft Hele Mai Maui 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan for public release. Wailuku Improvements: Phase 1A of the Wailuku Civic Complex project is set to begin in September. Updates on Wailuku construction, along with mitigation efforts that will be implemented during construction, can be found at www.WailukuLive.com. The County will be hosting several workshops and meetings on changes to the Commercial Mixed-use Zoning district of the Wailuku Redevelopment Area Zoning and Development Code on September 27th, at 250 S. High Street in the Planning Conference Room, at 1:30 p.m. (Maui Redevelopment Agency Meeting) NFIP: Without Congressional action, the National Flood Insurance Program will expire at midnight on Monday, September 30th. NAR is working to secure long term reauthorization. To assist REALTORS, NAR has created resources to address some common concerns. RAM GAD POD:  The podcast is now available on Anchor, Google Podcast, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Stitcher, PodBean, and Apple Podcasts. This week’s interview is with Michael Williams, President of Maui Tomorrow and all-around fascinating individual. RAM Dues: Renewal Dues are due to RAM by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, September 30th. Late fees will be added on October 1st and October 16th. Non-paying agents will be terminated on November 1st and their brokers assessed the late fees and dues.
10:34
September 25, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Dave DeLeon, Statesman and former Government Affairs Director for the Realtors Association of Maui
Dave DeLeon is a legend and that is the only reason you need to listen to this episode. This is easily the longest interview I've done so far, but it was well worth the time. Dave has had an incredible career in both journalism and politics, and he was kind enough to share many fun stories and thoughtful insights during our conversation. My favorite parts of this interview are when Dave talks about his time in the Arakawa administration, learning about his early career, and the rather candid discussion of current events we have toward the end. Two RAM GADs for the price of one in this episode, so give it a listen and enjoy.
2:22:38
September 19, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD 9/17/2019
Hello Friends, the theme of this update is "get involved!" This is a Tuesday episode, so largely just updates and rambling from me. Here are the highlights if you don't have the time to listen to the whole thing: FY 2021 Mayor’s Community Budget Meetings: Mayor Michael Victorino will be hosting a series of community meetings to afford residents the opportunity to share their priorities and concerns in preparation for the 2021 Budget. West Maui: 5:30 pm, Wednesday, September 18th at the Lahaina Civic Center Social Hall Central Maui: 5:30 pm, Monday, September 30th at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center Paia-Haiku: 5:30 pm, Monday, October 7th at the Paia Community Center South Maui: 5:30 pm, Tuesday, October 8th at the Kihei Community Center Molokai: 3:30 pm, Monday, October 21st at the Mitchell Pauole Community Center Lanai: 3:30 pm, Tuesday, October 22nd at the Hale Kupuna O’Lana’i East Maui-Hana: 5:00 pm, Monday, October 28th at Helene Hall The Lahaina Injection Well Case: At 9:00 am, on Friday, September 20th, in the Council Chamber, the County of Maui will host a Public Hearing on the subject of “Authorizing Settlement in Hawaii Wildlife Fund, et. al. v. County of Maui, Civil 12-00198 SOM BMK, U.S. Supreme Court Case 18-260.” This will run concurrently with the County Council meeting that same morning. Here is a link to the Committee Report with the actual resolution, and here is a link to a recent radio broadcast discussing the issue further. Haiku Community Association: Holding its third meeting of 2019 on Wednesday, September 18th from 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm at the Haiku Community Center. Attendees are asked to bring non-perishable food donations for the Maui Food Bank. For more information visit haikumaui.org. Kihei Community Association: The KCA will be holding a public meeting at St. Theresa Church, at the corner of Lipoa Street and South Kihei Road, at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, September 17th. The meeting will feature Kevin Richards from the Hawaii Hazards Awareness and Resilience Program, and will focus on emergency preparedness. They will also be collecting non-perishable donations for the Maui Food Bank as well. For more information, visit gokihei.org. Maui Climate Strike: Friday, September 20th at 4 pm there will be a youth-led rally and sign waving event at UHMC. Beach Cleanup:  Maui Huliau Foundation is hosting a youth beach cleanup on Saturday, September 21st from 9-11 a.m. in honor of International Coastal Cleanup Day. They will be cleaning the beach along Kahului Harbor. Check out https://mauihuliaufoundation.org for more information and to RSVP. You can also check out Sharkastics.org for info on the Ka’ehu Cleanups on the 4th Sunday of every month (the 22nd) RAM GAD POD: Available through most apps. Next episode will be with Dave DeLeon.
17:35
September 18, 2019
RAM GAD POD - BONUS: KAOI Radio conversation with Jason Economou, Brian Perry, Scott Rollins, and Albert Hahn
This is a bonus episode featuring a discussion on the Lahaina injection well case between Brian Perry, Communications Director for the Mayor, Scott Rollins, acting chief of the County of Maui Wastewater Reclamation Division, Albert Hahn, recycled water coordinator for Maui County, and myself. This audio originally aired on KAOI this morning (9/12/2019), and was shared with my by the amazing Jack Gist. This episode is worth a listen if you are even remotely interested in this case. Albert and Scott do a great job at breaking down how the 9th Circuit's decision will impact the County's water reuse program, and they clarify a lot of points that have been getting lost in the public discourse. 
53:18
September 12, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Michelle Del Rosario, Executive Assistant to Council Chair Kelly King
I love this episode. I generally don't listen to a full interview after recording, but I listened to this one. In addition to being Executive Assistant for Council Chair Kelly King, Michelle Del Rosario is a REALTOR, a humanitarian, and a genuinely great person. Michelle was refreshingly honest and open with her ideas and opinions, and I am so happy that she is working for the people of Maui County. At the risk of sounding too cheesy, I felt inspired by Michelle when I listened to this episode. We get into some pretty heavy topics in this episode, and we also share some of our dreams for the future of Maui County. I am a fan of Michelle Del Rosario and you will be too after you listen to this episode. 
1:17:10
September 12, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD 9/10/2019
This episode is just a quick update with some of my usual rambling. I encourage you to listen to the episode, but here are some of the main points if you don't get a chance:  Cost Of Government Commission Meeting: Thursday, September 12th, 10:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. in the Mayor’s Conference Room on the 9th floor of the County Building at 200 South High Street in Wailuku. Maui MPO: The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is having a Technical Advisory Committee Meeting on Monday, September 16th at 2:00 p.m., in the planning conference room at 250 South High Street. Agenda items include election of Chair and Vice Chair and discussions of the Hele Mai Maui 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan. Kihei Community Association: Next community meeting is September 17, 2019, from 6:30-8:00 at Saint Theresa Church at 25 West Lipoa Street. Wailuku Improvements: Phase 1A of the Wailuku Civic Complex project is set to begin in September. Updates on Wailuku construction, along with mitigation efforts that will be implemented during construction, can be found at www.WailukuLive.com. The County will be hosting its next meeting on changes to the Commercial Mixed-use Zoning district of the Wailuku Redevelopment Area Zoning and Development Code on September 27th: 250 S. High Street – Kalana O Maui Building, Planning Conference Room, 1 pm. (Maui Redevelopment Agency Meeting) NFIP: Without Congressional action, the National Flood Insurance Program will expire at midnight on Monday, September 30th. NAR is working to secure long term reauthorization. To assist REALTORS, NAR has created a FAQ Sheet to address some common concerns. Toxic Substance Control Act Reminder: Two real estate companies recently settled cases with the U.S. EPA for violating the TSCA by failing to provide proper lead-bases paint disclosures to buyers and renters of homes built before 1978 on Maui and the Big Island. The Disclosure Rule requires sellers and lessors of pre-1978 homes to provide prospective buyers and tenants with a federal brochure about lead-based paint, any information known about lead-based paint in the home, and a warning statement about the potential dangers of lead-based paint. Mayor Victorino and the RAM GAD: Recently I had the pleasure of appearing on Mayor Victorino’s show on Akaku to discuss the Lahaina injection well issue. After the GET Committee’s vote on Friday to settle the case, Mayor Victorino has asked me to join him on KAOI radio this Thursday at 7 a.m. for further discussion. I will try and upload our conversation as a bonus RAM GAD POD episode this week. RAM GAD POD: This week’s interview is with Michelle Del Rosario, REALTOR and Executive Assistant to Council Chair Kelly King.
16:49
September 11, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Michele McLean, Director of the Maui County Department of Planning.
This episode is a good one for all my REALTORS out there. Michele McLean is both knowledgeable and a great communicator, so this was an easy interview for me. In this episode we dig into Michele's past, learn about her commitment to service, and we also get to know more about the Planning Department and how it works. My personal highlights were going over some of the issues she gets the most inquiries about (e.g., "Ohana Bill") and learning how community plans are developed. 
1:10:48
September 5, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for September 3, 2019
Hello Friends, This episode is just a quick update from me and the usual rambling. If you don't feel like listening to the whole thing, here are the main points: Wailuku Improvements: Phase 1A of the Wailuku Civic Complex project is set to begin in September. Updates on Wailuku construction, along with mitigation efforts that will be implemented during construction, can be found at www.WailukuLive.com. The County will be hosting several workshops and meetings on changes to the Commercial Mixed-use Zoning district of the Wailuku Redevelopment Are Zoning and Development Code on the following dates: September 13th: 250 S. High Street – Kalana O Maui Building, Planning Conference Room, 1 pm. (Maui Redevelopment Agency Special Meeting) September 27th: 250 S. High Street – Kalana O Maui Building, Planning Conference Room, 1 pm. (Maui Redevelopment Agency Meeting) Kihei Community Association: Next community meeting is September 17, 2019, from 6:30-8:00 at Saint Theresa Church at 25 West Lipoa Street West Maui Community Plan: The next West Maui Community Plan Advisory Committee meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 3 and Thursday, September 5 at Keopuolani Hall at Waiola Church. The meeting will begin at 5:30 and will focus on policies and actions related to Section 2, Goal 2.1 of the Draft West maui Community Plan. Go to WeAreMaui.org for more information. Sea Level Rise & Overtourism: Economist Paul Brewbaker will be speaking on Wednesday, September 4, from 5:30 – 7:00 pm at the Sphere at the Maui Ocean Center. “In this presentation, we explore some of the economic implications of overtourism for Hawaii, and relate economic policy responses to those which confront sea level rise attendant to global climate change.” RAM Stuff: Membership Gala this Friday. Pay your dues! RPAC is awesome! RAM GAD POD:  The podcast is now available on Anchor, Google Podcast, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Apple Podcasts. This week’s interview is with Michele McLean, Director of the County of Maui Department of Planning. 
11:02
September 4, 2019
RAM GAD POD - David Belew, Chief Staff Executive for RAM
This episode is an interview with David Belew, Chief Staff Executive for the REALTORS Association of Maui. It is hard for me to talk about this interview without sounding like I'm sucking-up to my boss, so I'll try not to talk it up too much. Nevertheless, this one is a really pleasant listen because David is a really pleasant person. The highlight of this interview for me were learning about David's hatred of free time, his thoughts on working for REALTORS, and his love of board games. I hope you all enjoy this conversation as much as I did.  Mahalo!
59:36
August 29, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD 8/27/2019
Hello Friends, Time for another GAD update, plus a nice little chat about the Lahaina Injection Well Case. I'm actually kind of proud of this one, so I encourage you to listen. Nevertheless, if you are only here for the update portion, here are the key points: Wailuku Improvements: Phase 1A of the Wailuku Civic Complex project is set to begin in September. Updates on Wailuku construction, along with mitigation efforts that will be implemented during construction, can be found at www.WailukuLive.com. The County will be hosting several workshops and meetings on changes to the Commercial Mixed-use Zoning district of the Wailuku Redevelopment Are Zoning and Development Code on the following dates: August 27th: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Mayor’s Conference Room, 3:30 – 4:30 pm. (Zoning Amendments Workshop) September 13th: 250 S. High Street – Kalana O Maui Building, Planning Conference Room, 1 pm. (Maui Redevelopment Agency Special Meeting) September 27th: 250 S. High Street – Kalana O Maui Building, Planning Conference Room, 1 pm. (Maui Redevelopment Agency Meeting) West Maui Community Plan: Community Plan Advisory Committee meeting will take place on Wednesday, August 28th at the Lahaina Civic Center’s Social Hall at 5:30 pm. The meeting will focus on policies and actions related to Section 2, Goal 2.2 of the Draft West Maui Community Plan: A Complete, Balanced and Connected Transportation Network. Visit www.wearemaui.org for more information. Maui MPO: The Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization will have a Policy Board Meeting on Friday, August 30th, at 9 a.m., in the Kala Pakui Planning Conference Room located at 250 S. High Street. The agenda and more information can be found at www.MauiMPO.org  Affordable Rental Housing: Hale Mahaolu will be accepting applications for Kahului Lani Phase 1, a beautiful 82 unit low income rental housing complex for seniors aged 55 and above located at 65 School Street, Kahului. Applications available for pick up at the Hale Mahaolu Central Office from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, from August 12th through August 30th. Applicants must be 55 or older, and target move in date is February 1st, 2020. First-Time Home Buyers Program: County of Maui is now accepting applications for its First-Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program. Completed applications and credit pre-approval letters must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 30th, 2019.  Lottery drawing is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, September 7th, 2019.  For more info, search online or call Jessica Crouse at 270-1741. RAM Stuff: The Membership Gala is Friday, September 6th, at the Four Seasons from 10 am to 2 pm. Members should RSVP by September 3rd.  Membership dues are due by September 30th.  RAM GAD POD: This week’s interview is with the one and only David Belew… The podcast is now available on Anchor, Google Podcast, Spotify, Breaker, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, I think we are on the Apple Podcast app as well. Or, you can Google us now!
22:16
August 27, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Interview with Lori Tsuhako, Director of Maui County's Department of Housing and Human Concerns
Hello Friends, I walked out of this interview wanting Lori Tsuhako to be my best friend, and I think it comes through in the recording. Lori is a kind and thoughtful person, and I loved every minute of this interview. In this episode we got to learn a bit about Lori's professional experience, what it was like for her growing up on Maui, and some of the big differences she has noticed in recent years. We also touched on some of the issues that make affordable housing on Maui a complex problem to solve. This interview was recorded prior to her presentation regarding the County's Strategic Plan on Housing, so we don't get into that here, but I am planning a follow-up interview where we can dig deeper into that. For now, give this episode a listen and get to know Lori Tsuhako and the Department of Housing and Human Concerns a little better.  Mahalo, Jason
1:10:03
August 22, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for August 20, 2019
Hello Friends, This episode is a brief update, a book recommendation, and some rambling about the Lahaina injection well case all rolled into one. If you don't have the time or inclination to give it a listen, my book recommendation was Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and the updates are mostly as follows:  West Maui Community Plan: The Community Plan Advisory Committee has two meetings going on this week. The first meeting is on Tuesday, August 20th, at the Lahaina Intermediate School Cafeteria, and the second meeting is Thursday, August 22nd, at Lahaina Civic Center’s Social Hall. Both meetings will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will focus on Section 2, and Goals 2.1 and 2.2 of the Draft West Maui Community Plan. For more information, and for video recordings of past meetings, check out WeAreMaui.org.  Baldwin Beach: The Department of Parks and Recreation is holding an open house to present the Baldwin Beach Park Master Plan on Thursday, August 22, from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the Paia Community Center.  Affordable Rental Housing: Hale Mahaolu will be accepting applications for Kahului Lani Phase 1, a beautiful 82 unit low income rental housing complex for seniors aged 55 and above located at 65 School Street, Kahului. Applications available for pick up at the Hale Mahaolu Central Office from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, from August 12th through August 30th. Applicants must be 55 or older, and target move in date is February 1st, 2020.   First-Time Home Buyers Program: County of Maui is now accepting applications for its First-Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program. Completed applications and credit pre-approval letters must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 30th, 2019.  Lottery drawing is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, September 7th, 2019.  For more info, search online or call Jessica Crouse at 270-1741.  HUD Released FHA Condo Rules: On August 14th, 2019, HUD released long-awaited final FHA condo rules. The new rules contain several elements that will enable more buyers to be able to use FHA-insured financing to purchase a condo. Highlights include: The return of single unit approval, also known as spot loans, for units in non-FHA approved properties; Increased certification period from two to three years, plus a six month grace period to submit re-certification materials;  Increased acceptable commercial space to 35% of total area; and Reduced requirements for owner-occupancy percentage exceptions.  REALTOR Action Day: Volunteers needed on Saturday, September 14th! REALTORS across Hawaii will be working on projects to support our schools. If you are interested in helping, you can contact Erin Clapper at (808)330-8338, or email erinc@bettermauivip.com. Participants can paint encouraging sayings at Lahaina Intermediate, Paint at Maui High School, paint or garden at Pomaika’i Elementary, or relocating the garden at Waihe’e Elementary.   RAM GAD POD: Tell your friends about the RAM GAD POD! It is now available on Anchor, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Breaker, and Pocket Casts. This Thursday I’ll be uploading a really lovely interview with Lori Tsuhako, the Director of Maui County’s Department of Housing and Human Concerns.  
15:34
August 20, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Sandy Baz, Managing Director for the County of Maui
Aloha Friends, This episode is an interview I recorded with Sandy Baz, Managing Director for the County of Maui, on July 22, 2019. This interview was a lot smoother than the pilot episode, and Sandy was a fascinating guest. Some of the highlights for me were learning about Sandy's youth, his somewhat non-traditional career path, and his deeply spiritual connection to public service. One of the low points was when I disclosed my not so secret goal of going to clown college someday. I really enjoyed recording this one, so I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to it.  Mahalo, Jason
1:13:23
August 15, 2019
RAM GAD POD: Bonus Episode with Don Couch!
Hello Friends, This isn't really a RAM GAD POD episode, but I'm going to call it that anyway. This is actually audio from my appearance on Don Couch's show on 1110 AM that was recorded earlier today. Don Couch is a great host and it was fun being on his show. It may be worth noting that this was recorded at 7 a.m. and I did not have nearly enough coffee before hand, so I do sound a little tired. Nevertheless, I thought my 5 listeners might be interested in hearing it, so here you go! Mahalo, Jason
53:29
August 14, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for August 13th, 2019
Hello Friends, This episode is just a quick update and me rambling about a laser tag party I went to last night. If you don't get a chance to listen, here is what you should know: First-Time Home Buyers Program: The County of Maui is now accepting applications for its First-Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program. Completed applications and credit pre-approval letters must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 30th, 2019. Lottery drawing is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, September 7th, 2019. For more information, search online or call Jessica Crouse at (808) 270-1741. Wailuku Town Improvements: The Department of Management is hosting a community meeting on the Wailuku Town Improvements from 6-7:15 p.m. on Monday, August 19th, at Iao Theater. Baldwin Beach: The Department of Parks and Recreation is holding an open house to present the Baldwin Beach Park Master Plan on Thursday, August 22, from 4:30-7:00 p.m. at the Paia Community Center.  Affordable Rental Housing: Hale Mahaolu will be accepting applications for Kahului Lani Phase 1, a beautiful 82 unit low income rental housing complex for seniors aged 55 and above located at 65 School Street, Kahului. Applications are available for pick up at the Hale Mahaolu Central Office from 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, from August 12th through 30th. Applicants must be 55 or older, and target move in date is February 1st, 2020. RAM Member Dues Renewal Time is Almost Here!: RAM's membership year runs October through September. Dues will be posted to all member accounts on August 15th and the deadline to pay is September 30th. Remember, dues are billed electronically, so you will not receive a bill in the mail. Watch your inbox for payment reminders, and feel free to log into your Member Portal beginning August 15th to pay.  RAM GAD POD: Bonus episode is getting posted today with audio from my radio appearance on Don Couch's show this morning. On Thursday I will be posting my interview with Sandy Baz, Managing Director for the County of Maui. It is a great episode and well worth listening to. 
08:38
August 13, 2019
RAM GAD POD - The Pilot Episode with Roy Vandoorn, Chair of RAM's GAC
Aloha Friends, This is the first episode of the RAM GAD POD ever recorded, and it sounds like it! This episode is an interview with Roy Vandoorn, Chair of RAM's Government Affairs Committee. This was a pleasant conversation, but it is clear that both he and I are not particularly comfortable recording. Nevertheless, we got through the interview without saying anything that will get us in trouble and listeners will get to learn a bit more about Roy and I. One highlight from this episode is that I share an embarrassing fun fact about my wife that always makes me laugh.  Mahalo for listening and I hope you enjoy!
44:47
August 8, 2019
RAM GAD POD - Notes from the GAD for August 6, 2019
This is technically the first episode of the RAM GAD POD, but it is really just a quick update on a few things going on in the County this week: The County of Maui is now accepting applications for its First-Time Home Buyer Down Payment Assistance Program. Completed applications and credit pre-approval letters must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, August 30th, 2019.  Lottery drawing is scheduled for 9 a.m., Saturday, September 7th, 2019.  For more information, search online or call Jessica Crouse at (808)270-1741.  In the morning on Wednesday, August 7th, the Affordable Housing Committee will receive a presentation from the Department of Housing and Human Concerns regarding the County’s strategic plan for housing.   Also on Wednesday, August 7th, the Planning and Sustainable Land Use Committee will be holding a meeting at 6 p.m. at the Paia Community Center to discuss 2 bills related to the Paia-Haiku Community Plan and the number of short-term rental homes permitted in the area. The 2 bills being discussed were initially introduced under the previous council back in December, and they were fairly controversial then, so it will be interesting to hear public feedback again this time around.  In RAM news, Larry Manning has a birthday coming up! Next episode out Thursday, August 8th: Interview with Roy Vandoorn, Chair of RAM's Government Affairs Committee
02:16
August 6, 2019
RAM GAD POD - What to expect
The RAM GAD POD (or REALTORS Association of Maui Government Affairs Director Podcast) is a new podcast intended to keep RAM members informed about government affairs related issues that might impact them, and to introduce listeners to interesting people involved in the world of Maui politics, as well as the world of RAM. Every Tuesday I will provide a short update with some quick notes from the GAD, and every Thursday I will upload a longer interview with a guest.  Our  upcoming guests are Roy Vandoorn, Sandy Baz, Lori Tsuhako, David Belew, and Michele McLean. Mahalo!
01:01
August 6, 2019