Applications being accepted for Waipiʻo Valley Emergency Road Closure advisory committee : Big Island Now


Applications are now being accepted for the Mayor’s Advisory Committee for Waipiʻo Valley’s Emergency Road Closure.

Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth is standing up the advisory committee to facilitate communication of the significant community concerns and possible solutions relating to road safety and access to the roadway through the emergency period.

Waipiʻo Valley November 2022. Photo Credit: Megan Moseley

The advisory committee will consist of 13 individuals, representing various community sectors, who will communicate concerns and generate options for road use during the emergency road closure period and beyond for Mayor Roth’s consideration.

Most meetings will be held on Zoom, with some being in-person, as needed.

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“With safety as the guiding consideration, our goal is to move forward in a way that respectfully engages the various stakeholders and seeks meaningful agreement amongst the engaged parties,” Mayor Mitch Roth said. “There is undoubtedly a lot of aloha for the valley, and we need to find a balance that respects that aloha while ensuring the safety of those who traverse the roadway.

“We realize that short-term access to the County roadway is not a long-term solution for valley access, but we do hope to contribute to the efforts of the long-term management steering committee.” 

Hawaiʻi County Councilwoman Heather Kimball, a member of the long-term steering committee, said: “These two efforts should weave together well and provide for both a forum to respond to the immediate situation and pathway to communicate with the efforts to develop long-term plans.”

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The makeup of the Advisory Committee will consist of the following:

Public Representation:

  • 2 representatives of the “farming” community
  • 2 representative of the “ocean” community (at least one from suit)
  • 2 representatives from the “tourism” community
  • 1 representative of the Waipiʻo “kupuna” community
  • 1 representative from the Waipiʻo “lineal descendant” community
  • 1 representative from Kamehameha Schools
  • 1 representative from Bishop Museum 
  • 1 representative from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources 
  • 1 cultural practitioner from the area
  • 1 student (18 and under) from the area 

County Representation:

  • 1 representative from the Office of the Mayor
  • 1 representative from the Department of Public Works
  • 1 representative from Corporate Counsel
  • 1 representative from the County Council
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Mayor’s Advisory Committees serve for a period not to exceed, or exist beyond, the Mayor’s term of office, except as otherwise provided by the County Charter. The committee will be volunteer only, with no member receiving compensation. Interested community members are asked to contact Cyrus Johnasen, Public Information Officer, at [email protected] for more information.

The purpose of the committee is to discuss access to the County roadway and is not intended to discuss access to private property.

The deadline to apply is Dec. 9 at 11:59 p.m. HST.



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