Help us save our swimming program
April 20, 2012 | 07:53 PM
We wanted to give you an update to the status of our permit request in hopes that you can help us get our swimming lessons permit reinstated.
As you know Maui County Parks & Recreation Director, Glenn Correa, and aquatics recreation supervisor, Duke Sevilla, have continually denied every one of our permit requests for the last 5 months.
We have had multiple meetings which led nowhere.
We have sent them multiple requests (via email, fax, and telephone calls) to resolve this situation, yet they refuse to correspond with us.
We requested a Type III Non-Profit permit and were denied based on the fact that we charge registration fees which are used to pay instructors for teaching the classes. (Although this is legal and we are within the scope of the regulation, and we only charge fees to off-set the cost of running the program).
Their second reason was because we charge a register fee, which generates revenues (again, within the scope of the regulation, as long as it is used to off-set the cost of running the program).
They combined two more reasons, activity exceeds thirty days, and we are not a youth league (there is no ordinance or regulation regarding this 30-day limit, only a 3 consecutive day limit, which we do not do; and there is no legal definition of what constitutes a youth league and we do qualify pending the definition).
They did not site any references, County codes, regulations, rules, or laws in their denial.
They verbally stated that if it were not for paying instructors they would allow it.
We were told by Mayor Arakawa that Parks will not issue us any type of permit until we "play nice"-this is unacceptable.
After careful consideration and consulting with two attorneys, we decided to file an appeal with the Board of Variances and Permits. We submitted the appeal on Wednesday (4/25/2012).
In the meantime, we submitted a request for a Type IV non-profit permit, on 4/3/2012 with no response. We filed it again on 4/9/2012, with no response. We filed it again on 4/12/2012, no response. We then walked in a hard copy on 4/13/2012, no response. We went to the office on 4/18/2012 and were told they knew nothing about the results of the request and had no idea when they would know anything. This is absolutely absurd, they should have given us the results of the request a long time ago, it has been three weeks, going on a month now.
While this fight will continue for some time, we do know we will have a hearing with the Board of Variance and Appeals. At this hearing, the Board with hear testimony on our behalf from community members, such as yourself. The more folks who attend the hearing, the better it will be for this program to continue/be reinstated. We will be submitting evidence as to our claims as well as other community support given to us via email and letters.
How you can help save this program:
1. If you could find it in your heart to spend a few minutes writing a letter in support of our program, we would truly appreciate it. Send the letters to the Mayor and all other County officials (Parks and Recreation; Council Members) as well as one to us, since we have experienced the County denying ever receiving any letters.
2. Sign the petition we have been circulating at the swimming lessons. If you would like a copy of it to collect additional signatures, let us know and we will be happy to send one to you via email.
3. A parent suggested that one of the participant’s (or their parent) write a letter to the editor of Maui News, letting them know what a valuable service we offer and, as a community, we are disappointed in the permit denial, especially considering it appears to be very prejudicial.
4. Have the children write letters or draw pictures, send them to the above referenced people, and to us, which we can submit with the other evidence.
We will post everything on FaceBook and eventually we will send out an email update.
We feel badly that Maui County is not allowing us to service our community and know it is not a luxury to know how to swim, but a necessity. We did not want folks to go without lessons so we have opened the doors to private lessons in your pool (home, condo, apartment, hotel, etc.) and ocean, water, and beach classes, to assist in teaching those who need to learn to swim, need to improve their swimming techniques, those who need to transition skills from the pool to the ocean, and for anyone else seeking instruction. If you are interested in any of these, you may either complete the registration form accordingly, give us a call, or email us.
We thank you in advance for your support and assistance in this matter. We truly appreciate you folks and all you do for your swimmers and our program.