CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
Date and Place: November 28, 2006
Standard Financial Plaza
Conference Room, Suite 211
Present: Lex Smith, Chair
Raymond H. Fujii, Vice Chair
Susan S. Heitzman
Wayne T. Hikida
Charles W. Totto, Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC)
Stenographer: Norm Fisher
I. CALL TO ORDER
The 401st meeting of the Ethics Commission (Commission or EC) was called to order at 12:10 p.m. by the Chair.
II. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION OF THE
OCTOBER 31, 2006 MEETING
The minutes of the open meeting of October 31, 2006 were unanimously approved as corrected.
III. OLD BUSINESS
A. Confirming the date and time of the January 10, 2007 meeting and setting the date and time for the February, 2007 meeting
The EC confirmed the date and time for the January 10, 2007 at 11:30 a.m. meeting and set the date and time for the February 22, 2007 at 11:30 a.m. meeting in the Standard Financial Plaza Conference Room, Suite 211.
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. Administrative news
The Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC) referred to his memorandum dated November 23, 2006 outlining the cases pending and the ethics training conducted to date in fiscal year 2007.
B. Report and recommendation regarding Bill 77, CD1 (2006), which would require reporting when the administration offers out-of-state travel to councilmembers
The EDLC directed the Commissionís attention to a copy of Bill 77, CD1 (2006) being proposed by Councilmember Djou.
The EDLC stated that Councilmember Djou asked if the Commission would testify in support of the bill. Councilmember Djou is concerned that the administration may try to sway councilmembers to vote in favor of city projects for which a councilmember has taken work-related travel paid for by the administration, such as in the case of reviewing mass transit options.
After reviewing the proposed bill, the EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried that the EDLC inform Councilmember Djou that the Commission feels that this is a City Council policy issue that should be determined by the City Council and, therefore, the Commission takes no position on the proposed bill.
The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to go to the executive session.
V. EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY
A. Approval of the minutes of the executive session of the November 28, 2006 meeting
The minutes of the executive session of November 28, 2006 were approved as amended to reflect corrections.
B. Report regarding complaint by Inge Werner against city officers, EC No. 06-067(w)
The EDLC reported that pursuant to the Commissionís decision at the last meeting, he sent a letter dated November 8, 2006 under Chair Smithís signature to Ms. Werner. The EDLC also stated that he informed those alleged to have violated the ethics laws that the Commission did not find sufficient evidence to show probable cause of a violation.
The EDLC directed the Commissionís attention to a response letter from Ms. Werner, dated November 11, 2006, wherein Ms. Werner questioned the fairness of the government ethics laws.
After reviewing Ms. Wernerís letter, the EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried that the EDLC respond to Ms. Wernerís letter informing Ms. Werner that she should take her concerns to the City Council, specifically, the councilmember who represents the district in which she lives, because it is the City Council that makes the ethics laws.
The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to return to the open session.
The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 12:25 p.m.