By Christie Wilson
Neighbor Island Editor
WAILUKU, Maui A Maui County Council committee decided yesterday to sink a proposal to rename the Lahaina Aquatic Center after two-term Mayor Linda Lingle.
The name change was requested by the Maui League of Republican Women to recognize Lingles efforts to build three public pool complexes during her administration and bring major swimming events to the island.
Lingle, 47, who moved to Oahu at the end of her final term in late 1998, is now head of the Hawaii Republican Party and is expected to make a second run for governor in 2002.
Parks and Recreation Committee members objected to renaming the Lahaina pool after Lingle on several grounds.
"It would be poor taste if the center is named after someone who is actively pursuing elective office," said Councilman Robert Carroll of Hana.
Councilman Michael Molina of Makawao said the public might perceive such a gesture as giving Lingle an "unfair advantage" in future election bids.
Committee Chairwoman Jo Anne Johnson said after the meeting that Lingle had never sought the honor and was not interested in seeing it pursued.
The committee did recommend that War Memorial Baseball Field No. 2 be named in honor of longtime Little League volunteer Toshio "Tata" Fujimoto, 80, of Kahului, and that the Kahului Elementary School park be renamed the Maui AJA Veterans Ballpark to recognize the groups 42-year support of PONY League baseball and its maintenance of the park.
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