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Neighborhood Commission

NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION
REGULAR MEETING
OCTOBER 9, 2001
CITY COUNCIL CONFERENCE ROOM


ATTENDANCE

         COMMISSONERS PRESENT:    Karen Iwamoto, Benjamin Sanchez, Ray Galas, Gail Gomes, Sally Amantiad, Kalene Shim Sakamoto, Margaret Murchie.
            
        
COMMISSIONERS ABSENT:        Benjamin Gudoy, James Kaonohi .
                

STAFF:                    Sheri Kajiwara, Ben Kama, Dean Chu.

                
         GUESTS:    Clifton Takamura and Brian Akana (McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8), Tom Heinrich (Manoa Neighborhood Board No. 7), Gary Bautista (Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23), Debbi Glanstein (Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31), William Woods (Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board No. 16), Lance Bateman, John Kato, David Tanouye (Deputy City Corportation Counsel).


CALL TO ORDER AND INTRODUCTION OF COMMISSIONERS
: Chair Iwamoto called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. Chair Iwamoto introduced the commissioners and Neighborhood Commission Office staff.

PUBLIC INPUT:

McCULLY-MOILIILI NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 8 VACANCIES - Former Board Chair John Kato, current Chair Brian Akana, and current member Clifton Takamura, reported that the Board has had a number of resignations, difficulty in filling vacancies, and problems of attendance by members at board meetings, resulting in a lack of a quorum. The Board has not had a quorum present for the past three meetings.

Kato suggested the Neighborhood Commission 1) suspend the rules to waive subdistrict residence requirements and 2) the Commission send letters to Board members who have not been attending the meetings, requesting their intentions about remaining on the Board.

Takamura provided additional comments on the lack of quorum adversely affecting the Board's ability to take action on matters of importance. Members failing to attend meetings are not meeting their obligation to the community.

Executive Secretary Kama reported that some other Boards are also experiencing similar problems with vacancies, and has been working with Chair Akana on this matter. He offered the Commission's assistance in sending out flyers to Board's areas announcing the vacancies. He also noted the Commission has sent letters to Boards advising Boards of deadlines to submit proposals to amend their boundaries and number of members. This may help deal with this problem in the future.

Chair Akana reiterated concerns expressed by Kato and Takamura and welcomed any assistance the Commission could provide on this matter. Kama noted that the Commission cannot suspend the rules as Kato suggested.

Chair Iwamoto gave her assurances that the Commission will do what it can to assist the Board on thismatter.

Akana noted that there might be a variety of reasons that members are not attending the meeting, including dissatisfaction by some with the change of meeting location to one with more room, more parking, is available free of charge for regular meetings and other events even on short notice.

Debbie Glanstein, Kailua Neighborhood Board member, reported that her Board has also been dealing with similar problems with absentee members and requested clarification on the use of excused or not excused absences. Kama noted that the Neighborhood Plan does not provide for excused absences.

Gomes reported that revisions to the Neighborhood Plan clarify the process for notifying members who have missed three meetings with a one year period.

Bill Woods, Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board member, reported that there have been absentee problems on his Board in the past, but the Chair did not place this item on the agenda. Lance Bateman, a former Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board member, reiterated the past absentee problems the Board experienced.

Kama noted that a Board member's seat is not automatically declared vacant after missing the required number of meetings, the Board must take the appropriate action. The members of the Board can request this item be placed on the agenda.

Woods called for better enforcement of the rules. Commissioner Galas noted provisions of the Neighborhood Plan that specify the Board as having the “option to declare the seat vacant”

Takamura noted that even if the seat is declared vacant, that would not solve the problem because it would continue to remain vacant, and suggested the Neighborhood Plan Revision Committee address this concern.

PREPARATION OF NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD MINUTES
_ Woods raised concern about the accuracy of the minutes of his Board's meetings as not accurately reflecting what happened at the meeting, and that when he suggested amendments, the Board denied his request to add the amendments.

Kama briefly reviewed the process used by Neighborhood Assistants to prepare the minutes of the meeting. The Board has the authority to approve the minutes at its meetings.

Woods reported that the Chair of his Board denied him the opportunity to review the draft minutes of his Board's meetings.

Shim Sakamoto and Galas arrived during the above portion of the meeting.

APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE MAY 8, 2001 MEETING
_ Gomes moved and Murchie seconded that the minutes of the meeting be approved. The motion carried unanimously.

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE:

Gomes moved and Shim Sakamoto seconded that the correspondence be filed. The motion carried unanimously.

COMMISSIONER REPORTS:

CHAIR _ Chair Iwamoto had no report.

COMMISSION MEMBERS:

COMMISSIONER GOMES
_ Gomes reported that at the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board meeting last week, the Pledge of Allegiance was not included on the agenda as it normally is, but was added to the agenda by Board action. Later, a member declined to participate in the Pledge. It was noted this matter is a sensitive matter to some people, and the Board needs to be accommodating.

Chair Iwamoto reported that at the Kaimuki Neighborhood Board meeting last week she was struck by the report by a guest during the police department report portion of the meeting regarding racist graffiti. She also noted that the Palolo Neighborhood Board has been having some recurring problems with vacancies.

EXECUTIVE SECRETARY
_ Executive Secretary Kama highlighted the following from his report which was previously distributed.

            1.    The Commission will meet the required number of times this year.

            2.    He and staff member Elwin Spray went to Maui recently to meet with the County Council to brief them on the neighborhood board type system, as there has been some interest there in establishing such a program.

            3.    He and Spray also went to the Big Island and met with the Mayor Kim's aide about interest there on establishing a neighborhood board type system.

            4.    Correspondence has been received from Los Angeles about interest there in establishing a neighborhood board type of program.

            5.    The Commission has hired a new Neighborhood Assistant, Kelley Santiago.

            6.    In June the Commission held an orientation meeting and a parliamentary procedure workshop for Board members. A workshop by the Department of Planning and Permitting is being planned.

            7.    Neighborhood Commission staff assisted at the Neighborhood Plan Committee workshops in various locations around the island.

            8.    Neighborhood Commission Office staff members Terry Morris, Sheri Kajiwara, Elwin Spray, and Laurie Tam were commended for their work on the Ramseyer and side-by-side formats for the proposed revisions to the Neighborhood Plan.

            9.    He has been in contact with several members of the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board regarding the Pledge of Allegiance matter. The Corporation Counsel has been contacted about this matter.

            10.    He visited the Manoa, Kaimuki, McCully-Moiliili, and Kuliouou-Kalani Iki Neighborhood Boards.

Chair Iwamoto commended Neighborhood Commission Office staff for their work in preparing the Ramseyer and side-by-side formats on the proposed revisions to the Neighborhood Plan.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS:

NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN REVISION UPDATE _ There was nothing additional to report.

NEW BUSINESS
:

Discussion followed with Deputy Corporation Counsel David Tanouye about the appropriateness of adding an item to the agenda regarding the McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board's vacancy and quorum problems. Gomes moved and Murchie seconded to add an item to the agenda that the Neighborhood Commission begin an investigation into the vacancies on various Neighborhood Boards. Discussion followed. The motion carried, 6-0-1. Galas abstained.

VACANCIES ON NEIGHBORHOOD BOARDS _ Gomes noted that several Neighborhood Boards are having problems with vacancies, and requested that the Neighborhood Commission Office make a report at the next Commission meeting on the status of steps being taken to deal with this matter. Galas noted that the Neighborhood Commission Office is already working on this matter.

NEW BUSINESS:

Gomes moved and Shim Sakamoto seconded that the Commission go into executive session. The motion carried unanimously. The executive session began at 7:45 p.m. Galas moved and Gomes seconded that the Commission come out of executive session. The motion carried unanimously. The executive session ended at 8:07 p.m.

COMPLAINT HEARING IN THE MATTER OF WILLIAM WOODS VERSUS THE KALIHI VALLEY NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 16 (DECEMBER 2, 1999)
- Chair Iwamoto and Woods noted the absence of Maryrose McClelland, Chair of the Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board.

Woods provided a brief background on reasons he sought election to the Neighborhood Boards, and that how it works is important to him.

Woods reported that the complaint relates to a violation of the Neighborhood Plan's provisions regarding the duties of Board officers, and the maintaining of minutes of the Board's meetings. Woods noted that the Neighborhood Plan does not specify that the chair of the Board is responsible for the minutes of the meeting and that this responsibility of Board's Secretary. He stated that the minutes should be a true reflection of what happened, but that the views of the participants has not been included in the minutes.

Woods reported that at one meeting there was discussion about the development of a new park, and that he requested that the consultants working on the project address making the park ADA complaint. However, the minutes of that meeting did not include his comments on this matter. He noted that the draft minutes of this meeting were sent by their Neighborhood Assistant to the Secretary of the Board who added these comments which were forwarded to their Neighborhood Assistant. Subsequently, the Chair of the Board deleted these additions to the minutes. At the next meeting of the Board he tried to add these comments to the minutes, but they were not approved by the Board. It is his position that the Secretary's version should have been included in the minutes with the Chair's revisions, and let the Board determine which version is to be approved. At the meeting there was also discussion on the process the Board uses to review the minutes, and the Chair offered the draft be made available to any Board member. However, subsequently the Chair reversed this position, and denied him a copy of the draft minutes. Woods stated that this procedure is contrary to the rules, and that only his Board has the policy of only the Chair reviewing the draft minutes.

Bateman, the Board Secretary when these events took place, reiterated the Chair's not allowing Woods' amendments to the draft. At a later meeting the Board stated its policy that the draft minutes are to only be reviewed by the Chair.

Woods also noted that his Board has had problems with achieving a quorum at its meeting, but it was the discretion of the Chair not to address the matter.

Woods reported that the process to draft the minutes should include retention of the original draft, the draft after it has been reviewed by the Chair, and these documents be available. When requesting such documents he was informed that these drafts are not available.

Tanouye requested and Woods confirmed the accuracy of the facts as he submitted them. Woods questioned the process that added information from the Chair who was not present at the pre hearing.

It was noted that Maryrose McClelland, Chair of the Board, was unable to attend the meeting. She submitted a letter providing information on this matter to Chair Iwamoto.

Woods reiterated previous remarks about the complaint.

Chair Iwamoto reported that the Commission can either sustain or deny the complaint. Galas moved and Gomes seconded that the complaint be denied. Discussion followed where it was suggested that the Commission send letters to the Boards on the importance of inclusive minutes and that each Board should review its minutes review process.

Chair Iwamoto reported that the Neighborhood Plan does not specify that the Board Secretary has the responsibility for the minutes, the plan says that the Board has the responsibility. She stated that unless there is a change of membership of this Board, the members will have to abide by its procedure.

The motion carried unanimously.

Tanouye reported that he will prepare the Findings of Fact on this complaint.

Galas moved and Gomes seconded that the Commission send a letter to the members of each Board on 1) facilitating fair, inclusive minutes that accurately reflect Board meeting business, and 2) that each Board member review its current process and with the Boards' approval and public input, publish that process and ensure it is incorporated in the recording of meeting minutes, journal and the Board members, officers and Neighborhood Commission staff who service them. The motion carried unanimously.

NOTICE TO NEIGHBORHOOD BOARDS OF DECEMBER 2001 DEADLINE FOR BOARD CHANGE TO BOUNDARIES OR SEAT REPRESENTATION FOR 2003 BOARD ELECTIONS - Kama reported the letter about deadlines if the Boards wish to change their boundaries or number of members who serve on the Board has been sent.

Questions were raised about State and City Council Reapportionment Commissions changing district boundaries for the State legislature and City Council, and it was noted that these changes will not affect the Boards' districts.

NOTICE TO COMMISSIONERS OF AIEA NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD'S REQUEST FOR BOUNDARY CHANGE - It was noted that such notice has been provided to the Commissioners.

Tom Heinrich, as an individual, suggested that each Board be sent a packet of information on their boundaries, its current membership, and the latest Census information, to use to determine if they want to make changes to their boundaries or membership. He noted that the Manoa and McCully-Moiliili Boards are working on changes to their subdistricts and membership.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:


NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN _ Gomes and Galas thanked the Neighborhood Commission Office staff for their work on this matter.

BUDGET _ No report.

ELECTIONS
- No report.

EVALUATION - No report.

RULES _ Galas reported that the committee met in August and the meeting was productive. He requested that the next committee meeting be held prior to the next Commission meeting.

It was noted that the Commission has been requested to include revisions to the Neighborhood Commission Rules be included in the revision of the Neighborhood Board rules. It was also noted that the Commission received a request to make its rules more consistent with that of other commissions, but it was determined that other commissions have have rules that are inconsistent with that of other commissions as well. Neighborhood Commission staff members were commended for their work on this matter.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Gomes announced that the November meeting will be her last one as a member of the Commission. She noted that her term expired earlier, but she continued to serve to complete work on the Neighborhood Plan.

ADJOURNMENT
: Galas moved and Shim Sakamoto seconded that the meeting be adjourned. The motion carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 9:04 p.m.

Submitted by,

Dean Chu
Neighborhood Assistant




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