Hawaii Senate to Decide on Aaron Mahi for the Land Use Commission

A Civil Beat Honolulu Story By: Anita Hofschneider

To some residents of Makiki, Aaron Mahi is a community leader due to his role as a pastor at the Community of Christ church.

To his fans, he’s a skilled musician, a former conductor of the Royal Hawaiian Band for more than two decades and a slack-key guitar performer who still tours the mainland.

To others, he’s a cultural specialist who works with nonprofit organizations such as the Malama Aina Foundation and the Partners in Development Foundation to teach people about Hawaiian traditions.

But since January, Mahi has been serving in a very different role: as an interim member of the state Land Use Commission, which makes decisions about development that could have repercussions for generations. Gov. Neil Abercrombie appointed Mahi to the post, and a Senate panel is scheduled to meet Friday to vote on whether to confirm Mahi as a commissioner (more)…