On December 22, Maui Mayor Michael Victorino, to his credit, announced his veto of Maui County Council Bill 148 which would have established a two-year moratorium on the issuance of building permits for transient accommodations on Maui. This was a measure that we had opposed before the Council, and I had previously urged Mayor Victorino to wield his veto powers.
Tomorrow, the Council will meet for its first Full Council meeting of the new year where they are slated to take a vote to override the veto. Since Mayor Victorino's announcement, we have been working hard to secure the necessary votes to sustain his veto. These efforts culminated in the issuance of a letter that we helped to craft along with MHLA which was sent to each of the Maui County councilmembers yesterday. Co-signed by representatives from hospitality, business, labor, and trade organizations, the letter clearly articulates our position on Bill 148 and urges the Council to sustain.
After the letter began to circulate, additional organizations and individuals reached out to me to express their support and ask to sign on. Sensing that the momentum was on the upswing, I reproduced the letter with the additional signatories and sent it to each of the Maui County councilmembers earlier this afternoon. You can read the letter and view the signatories here.
This latest initiative underscores the strength that lies in collaboration and partnership—something that HLTA has embraced through our diverse coalitions across the state and we have been able to demonstrate some success with this collaborative strategy. While we face an uphill battle to sustain the mayor's veto, we need to continue to send a message to lawmakers that we are united in advocating for a strong, resilient, and sustainable economy.
Prince Resorts Hawaii has announced the promotion of longtime hospitality executive Shigeki Yamane who will now serve as the company's president. The move comes after the departure of Kisan Jo who has assumed the role of executive vice president of retail markets and operations at Central Pacific Bank. Previously serving as Prince Resort Hawaii's vice president of planning, Yamane brings a wealth of hospitality and executive experience to the position having worked in Japan, Canada, and Singapore.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser ran a nice article in yesterday's paper announcing the move and lauding the company for the way they have supported their team members throughout the pandemic. If you have a minute, you can read it here.
We have always enjoyed a great working relationship with our friends at Prince Resorts, and I look forward to continuing this under their new leadership. I am excited to see where Prince Resorts goes from here.
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