July 2017 Chamber Connection Newsletter

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President's Message | June 2017

Aloha mai kakou,

Mahalo nui to all of you that volunteered your precious time and effort during this fiscal year. Without all of your support, our Chamber would not be as relevant as we have been. My sincerest gratitude goes out to all of the members of the Hawai‘i Island Chamber of Commerce, to all of our directors, committee chairs and most importantly, Kristen Yagi and Miles Yoshioka. The dedication and passion that all of you share, has contributed towards making our community a better place to live in and a perfect location to raise our families.

This year has been an eventful one for our Chamber, as we experienced the changing of the guard at several government levels.

At the county level, our mayor has taken on the challenges of Hawai‘i County with resolve. Homelessness, healthcare, waste disposal and Maunakea are some of the key priorities being addressed. Funding for these programs and the day to day operation of our county has been going through the vetting process. Our Chamber submitted a letter to the current administration and all council members with the position that 1) we oppose raising taxes, 2) we believe government has grown much more than we can afford and that 3) we would support downsizing of government.

At the federal level, our President has been making headlines from the beginning. In fact, it has now become somewhat unusual if a week or two goes by without hearing some sort of controversial or interesting announcement made by our commander in chief. The next four years promises to be very fascinating and it provides a sense of curiosity as to what lies ahead in our near future.

Recapping last month, the Thirty Meter Telescope contested case hearing is hopefully coming close to a decision making date. The end of May was the deadline for all participants to submit their findings of facts and conclusions of law. June 13 is another deadline for all parties to comment on the findings of fact and conclusions of law that was submitted at the end of May.

It is hopeful that the hearings officer will submit her report sometime in late June or July. Once the hearings officers report has been submitted, there will be a 21 day period for comments to be submitted on the hearings officer’s report.

The first 21 day comment period will be followed by another 21 day period for additional comments. After the second 21 day comment period, the BLNR could hold a meeting to hear oral arguments and/or the BLNR can make a decision on whether to grant the permit for the TMT. Optimistically, the earliest the BLNR would be able to render a decision, would be sometime in late August 2017. Realistically, if a decision is made by year end 2017, I would be impressed. Keep your fingers crossed.

Coming up later this month is the changing of the guard for our Chamber. I’m excited and am looking forward to making our Chamber greater again, with the passing of the gavel to Incoming President Bill Walter of W.H. Shipman, Limited. I hope to see many of you at our annual Installation Dinner, 26 June at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

Mahalo to everyone that has helped to make this past year a great one.

‘Ahui hou, Mike.

June 2017 Chamber Connection Newsletter