For more on this topic, watch Wake Up 2day on Friday morning. Jai Cunningham will discuss with state senators J. Kalani English and Rosalyn Baker.
Some have concerns when it comes to riding in small planes, but for many government workers, it’s a part of everyday life.
“I started looking back and last year, I did over 200 flights inter-island,” said state Sen. J. Kalani English, (D-Hana, Lanai, Kahoolawe). “This year, because of session and because of work, we are up quite a bit as well.”
“I think it’s very essential that we are there,” said state Rep. Mele Carroll (D-Molokai, Lanai, East Maui). “People do want to feel, hear, touch the people that are representing them.”
County officials say their workers also meet on a regular basis. Sometimes they commute by ferry and sometimes they take a charter plane. Workers are also given the option to stay overnight, but many choose to come home.
KHON2 asked why workers don’t just teleconference instead. “We were prohibited by state law from doing this because if any kind of communication was broken, we’d have to take the whole process together,” explained Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa. “We’d have to let the community know about these meetings, so we’d have to reschedule them, so that’s like a full week until you started again.”
The mayor says they have received new teleconferencing equipment, so the county council is re-exploring the possibility.