New Maui Office Begins Navigating The
‘Complex Landscape Of Recovery’
Bissen on Sept. 18 announced the creation of the Office of Recovery to address intermediate and long-term disaster recovery needs and coordinate efforts between county, state and federal agencies and nongovernment organizations.
Bissen’s newly formed Lahaina Advisory Team, comprising five prominent community figures, in the top leadership tier alongside the mayor and the council. during a presentation at the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement’s annual convention on Maui last week, he described a framework for recovery that identifies six focus areas: community planning; housing; infrastructure; natural, historical and cultural resources; economic resiliency and health and social service systems.
He said the recovery will lean heavily on the work already done for the West Maui Community Plan, which was updated in 2022.
Needs already identified in the six key areas include an expedited building permit process and updated building and development regulations; wildfire management plans; a comprehensive approach to invasive species; contamination monitoring, reporting and cleanup; restoration of watersheds, wetlands and natural springs; an inventory of historic and cultural resources; restoration of educational facilities; enhanced drinking water safety and treatment capacity; resilient energy systems for wildfire prevention; mortgage relief and increased affordable housing; community-driven visioning for Front Street; and “transparent and comprehensive public recovery communications.”
We anticipate we’re going to have recovery functions going on for at least 10 to 15 years