Maui County Council Chair Mike White wants Mayor Alan Arakawa’s administration to breathe life into the county’s 34-year-old law requiring lobbyists to register.
In his column Sunday for the Maui News, White said the requirement is seemingly ignored, given that a member of the public recently had to file a formal records request to access the list. Aside from the list not being easily accessible online like it is in other jurisdictions, he said the list was so short it seemed obvious the law wasn’t being enforced.
The law, which is similar to that of other counties and the state, requires people to register as a lobbyist if they submit testimony to the council or otherwise urge the county to make policy or administrative decisions and are being compensated for their service.
“It’s futile to have good laws if they aren’t being enforced,” White said. “And it’s hard to understand why public records that could be useful to council members and government watchdogs are kept from public view.”