A message from Thom Williams, Executive Director of the ERS

Thom Williams

Lahaina News, November 30, 2017

I’d personally like to thank all the residents who came out to West Maui Community Association’s (WMCA) Nov. 6th informational meeting to discuss the Employees’ Retirement System’s (ERS) Ka‘anapali Golf Courses Revitalization Project.

As you know, the ERS, which provides retirement, disability, survivor, and other benefits to more than  135,000 members, is proposing modifications to portions of its 305-acre Ka‘anapali Golf Course properties in West Maui.  With an eye toward the future, our intent is to enhance the property’s value to the retirement fund, the resort area, and the surrounding community. The proposed development area involves  up to 35 acres encompassing the golf courses and select portions of the property for new residential and resort-related developments.

One of the key messages we continue to convey is that we value your input and are listening intently to what you have to say. We are committed to an open and transparent process and appreciate everyone who shared their views during WMCA’s Nov. 6th meeting or who provided us with their comments via email, or expressed interest in receiving project updates by signing up on our website, www.KaanapaliRefresh.com.

While we continue to receive feedback on our proposed project, we also greatly appreciate you sharing what matters to you and your families – not just today, but for future generations as well. 

What we’ve heard so far are frustrated families, including our ERS members, who are fed up with the status quo in West Maui – lack of affordable housing, continuous traffic congestion, delayed infrastructure projects - and concern for the future of your keiki.

The ERS is willing to work within your community of stakeholders to find solutions to these existing issues.  The challenge we, along with other developers and government agencies face, is that the complexity of these concerns requires a concerted group effort from the State and County government and the private sector, including developers, the business community, and concerned citizens.  It will mean finding a place of balance, where projects and programs can still remain economically viable while producing important benefits for our citizens.

As challenging as it is now, it will be more difficult to resolve many of our island’s problems long-term if they are not addressed starting today.

As a related matter, the ERS understands that we are responsible for addressing impacts created by our proposed modifications of the golf courses. We look forward to working with government and the community to identify and develop potential solutions.

Our ERS Ka‘anaapali revitalization project is clearly not a done deal. Nor is the plan that we originally proposed set in stone. Already the ERS is considering modifications based on conversations and feedback received from you.

Our hope is that we can work together as one group to realize a safer, healthier and prosperous future for West Maui’s citizens.  It is your future, and we hope that ERS and its members can be a part of this important effort.