(BIVN) – Hawaiʻi County officials plan to form a task force to assist with the recovery efforts on Maui, where recent brushfires destroyed the town of Lāhainā and claimed, at last official count, 55 lives.
Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth on Wednesday said he aims to form a Hawaiʻi County Task Force for Maui County Recovery Assistance to establish “a unified front of expertise, resources, and assistance to aid Maui County in its recovery journey.”
Mayor Roth says the task force will work hand-in-hand with local agencies, organizations, and volunteers to identify needs, coordinate efforts, and redirect resources effectively.
“The devastation that occurred throughout Maui yesterday is more than a singular County issue,” said Mayor Mitch Roth in a news release. “It is a Hawaiʻi issue, and we are prepared to work hand-in-hand with our partners here on Hawaiʻi Island to coordinate our resources and lend whatever meaningful support we can to assist Maui in their recovery. An incident like this could easily occur on any one of our islands, and we know that our fellow mayors, State leaders, and the Governor would do the same for us.”
Mayor Roth envisions the task force will “comprise a diverse range of experts and personnel from various Hawaiʻi County departments, the County Council, and partner organizations,” including hios won office, Civil Defense, Planning, Housing, Police, Fire, Research & Development, Public Works, Finance, Environmental Management, IT, Corporation Counsel, and other County agencies. Roth says “partner organizations working in the non-profit and community support service space, as well as relevant for-profit agencies that are interested in assisting, will be invited to contribute their expertise and resources.”
From the news release:
The task force will focus on areas such as infrastructure and utility restoration, housing and shelter assistance, economic recovery and small business support, and food and sustenance support.
Key responsibilities of the Hawaiʻi County Task Force for Maui County Recovery Assistance include collaborating with Maui County authorities to identify immediate and long-term recovery needs, mobilizing resources, providing emergency communications support, assisting in infrastructure and utility restoration, proposing housing/shelter solutions, aiding economic recovery, and engaging with the community.
Cyrus Johnasen, Public Information Officer and Executive Assistant to Mayor Roth will Chair the Task Force. Hawaiʻi Island organizations interested in participating in the unified effort can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor Mitch Roth emphasizes the importance of open communication and transparent reporting. The task force coordinator will regularly update both Hawaiʻi County and Maui County officials, while public information channels such as websites, social media, and press releases will be used to keep the public informed about the recovery efforts and progress.
Mayor Roth added, “Our ‘ohanas extend beyond our borders, and so does our aloha and kuleana.”