State Senate President Shan Tsutsui has suggested to Gov. Neil Abercrombie that the state purchase Lanai.
In a letter on Tuesday, the Maui Democrat said the people of Lanai have “grave concerns” about the potential sale to another private investor. Larry Ellison, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Oracle Corp., wants to buy the island from David Murdock.
Currently, the State invests a great deal of money and resources in the island, including maintaining a public school, public library, state hospital, airport, roads, harbors and various state department offices to provide necessary services to Lanai residents and visitors.
Maui County also provides a myriad of services and support for the island and its residents.
However, Lanai residents are unable to purchase and develop lands that have been and may continue to be held in ownership by a single private individual or entity. The continued private ownership of Lanai may prove detrimental to the people of Lanai and the State, as a private owner is not subject to public, community or government input in making decisions that can and will affect such parties.