SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawai'i -- In an unprecedented move to bolster community engagement and address on-base living concerns, U.S. Army Garrison Hawai'i conducted its first-ever "walking housing town hall" today at Schofield Barracks. The walk, led by Garrison leadership, took a proactive route from Kawika St. through various residential lanes, concluding at Lalauiku Way.
Col. Steven McGunegle and Command Sgt. Maj. Derek Wise, command team, U.S. Army Garrison Hawai’i, spearheaded the session alongside Iris Kiplinger, project director, Island Palm Communities (IPC), and Dave Reynolds, chief of housing, Directorate of Public Works. They engaged with residents on a myriad of issues, from grass maintenance along fence lines to the upkeep of solar panels.
Residents Amy Ziem and Courtney Edens who are spouses and veterans, voiced concerns about feral animals disrupting the community and water drainage issues that have been exacerbated by improper disposal of waste and inadequate infrastructure. The forum provided a platform for open dialogue, with military families sharing insights into daily challenges, including the potential dangers posed by wildlife and the effects of wear and tear on communal spaces.
The Garrison leadership took note of the community's suggestions, such as the need for additional parking to prevent damage to grassy areas and the importance of maintaining clear and functional drainage systems. The dialogue also touched on the importance of maintaining a safe environment for the children in the area, as reports of property damage and safety hazards due to feral animals were brought to light.
The walking town hall concluded with a commitment from Garrison officials to review concerns and develop actionable plans to address the highlighted issues, signifying a collaborative step forward in enhancing the living conditions for soldiers and their families stationed in Hawai'i.
As only the first one planned, stay tuned to U.S. Army Garrison Hawaii official channels for information about future walking housing town halls. Residents can provide the Military Housing Office suggestions of communities for consideration as locations for future town halls at (808) 656-7051.