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MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
CALL TO ORDER AND INTRODUCTION OF COMMISSIONERS: Vice Chair Sakamoto called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. A quorum was present. The Commissioners introduced themselves.
COMMISSIONERS PRESENT: Kalene Shim Sakamoto, Sally Amantiad, Benjamin Sanchez, Roy Wickramaratna, Ray Galas, Benjamin Gudoy, Margaret Murchie.
COMMISSIONERS ABSENT: Karen Iwamoto.
STAFF: Elwin Spray, Sheri Kajiwara, Terry Morris, Dean Chu.
GUESTS: Mary Miyashiro, James Manaku, L. Gary Bautista (Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23), Clifton Takamura (McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8), Mark Terry (Kuliouou-Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board No. 2), C.C. Curry, Tom Berg Tom Heinrich, Teresa Russell (Liliha/Alewa/Puunui/Kamehameha Heights Neighborhood Board No. 14), Debbi Glanstein (Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31), David Tanoue (Deputy City Corporation Counsel.
DISRUPTIVE BOARD MEMBERS – Clifton Takamura reported that a member of his Board has again disrupted the Board’s meeting with loud outbursts. This is a violation of Neighborhood Plan rules. He has written to the Neighborhood Commission Office on this matter as Board members are concerned about how to handle this situation.
Takamura noted that no formal complaint has been filed with the Neighborhood Commission on this matter. Copies of the letter will be made available to Commission members.
APPROVAL OF REGULAR MEETING MINUTES OF MAY 14, 2002 – The following corrections were made:
Page 1, under Public Input, the first item should read “Evaluation Committee Recognition…”
Page 6, fourth paragraph from the bottom, the motion should read “…will remain on the agenda until the commission is ready to rule.”
Page 6, second to the last paragraph, the motion should read “…defer the fourth complaint until the Commission is ready to rule.”
Page 7, first paragraph, the motion should read “…number 5 and 6 until the Commission is ready to rule…”
Galas moved and Wickramaratna seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion carried unanimously.
MAHALO TO COMMISSIONER AMANTIAD – Commissioner Amantiad was recognized for her five years of service on the Commission and presented with a lei. Her term has expired, but she will continue to serve until a new Commissioner is appointed and confirmed.
Copies of correspondence were previously provided to Commissioners. Galas moved and Wickramaratna seconded that the correspondence be filed. The motion carried unanimously.
COMMISSION CHAIR – No report. Chair Iwamoto was unable to attend the meeting.
COMMISSION MEMBERS – Galas reported that he and Wickramaratna have attended the Ewa and Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board meetings. He noted that at these meetings he was recognized by the Chairs. At the Waianae Coast meetings he met with Board members and noted that the meeting room needs more chairs for the audience.
Murchie reported that she has not been recognized at Board meetings she has attended despite introducing herself to the Chair prior to the start of the meeting. Morris reported that he will be providing identification badges to Commission members to help them identify themselves at Board meetings.
Galas reported that he has similarly not been recognized at Board meetings despite introducing himself to the Chair prior to the start of the meeting.
Wickramaratna reported that he attended the Ewa and Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board meetings.
Sakamoto reported she attended some of the Commission’s public hearings on Board boundary changes.
Galas suggested that the Commission consider holding its meetings at Kapolei Hale.
Amantiad reported she attended the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board meeting and that one item of interest on the agenda involved a dispute between the community and the new owners of the Turtle Bay Hilton has been resolved.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY’S REPORT: Morris reported for Executive Secretary Kama who was unable to attend the meeting. Morris reported that copies of the Second Draft Revised Neighborhood Plan 2002 are being printed and will be distributed to all interested persons. The Commission workshop for Commissioners and Neighborhood Board members is tentatively scheduled for August 3, Mayor’s Office conference room, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending when all questions are answered.
NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN REVISION UPDATE – Previously reported.
REQUEST FROM LILIHA/ALEWA/PUUNUI/KAMEHAMEHA HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 13 FOR A BOUNDARY CHANGE – Spray reported that the Board requested a name change in February, and a boundary change in March of this year. A public hearing on the boundary change is to be scheduled. Spray noted that the process to change the subdistrict boundaries has to be completed in time to take effect for the 2003-2005 elections. The deadline provided by the Neighborhood Commisison Office has passed, but Spray and Kajiwara noted it is possible to extend the deadline. Murchie moved and Sanchez seconded to extend the deadline. The motion carried unanimously.
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JULY 9, 2002
Galas moved and Murchie seconded to hold a public hearing. The motion carried unanimously.
PUBLIC INPUT, CONTINUED:
QUESTIONABLE BOARD MEMBER’S CAMPAIGN ACTION – Berg provided the Commissioners a copy of a government produced brochure that a Ewa Neighborhood Board member is using as campaign material. Vice Chair Sakamoto requested, and Berg will submit a formal letter to the Commission on this matter.
Galas moved and Sanchez seconded to take New Business item Consideration and action on Proposed Amendments to Initiative Petitions, out of order. The motion carried unanimously.
CONSIDERATION AND ACTION ON PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO INITIATIVE PETITIONS – Spray reported on the following:
LILIHA/ALEWA/PUUNUI/KAMEHAMEHA HEIGHTS NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 14 NAME CHANGE – The Commission has held a public hearing on the name change to Liliha/Puunui/Alewa/Kamehameha Heights Neighborhood Board No. 14. The Board had taken a position in favor of making the name change. No testimony was presented at the public hearing. Board Chair Russell reported that the name change reflects what the Board requested under a previous name change, but an inadvertent error was made, requiring the current request.
Heinrich confirmed the original name change request and supported the current request.
Galas moved and Murchie seconded to accept the Board’s request for a name change. The motion carried unanimously.
Spray recommended taking the agenda to take the remaining items under this section out of order.
Galas moved and Murchie seconded to take the remaining items in the following order: Aiea Neighborhood Board No. 20 boundary change, Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23 boundary change, Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board No. 24 representation change, Kuliouou-Kalani Iki Neighborhood Board No. 2 boundary change. The motion carried unanimously.
Spray noted that the specifics of the proposals were distributed at the Commission’s March meeting.
Spray reviewed the following:
AIEA BOARD NO. 20 BOUNDARY CHANGE – The Board’s proposal is to combine five subdistricts into four subdistricts and reducing the total seats to reflect a change in population. Galas moved and Wickramaratna seconded to accept the request. The motion carried unanimously.
EWA BOARD NO. 23 BOUNDARY CHANGE – The Board’s proposal is to change from an all at-large representation, to two subdistricts; and increase the number of Board members’ seats. At the public hearing testimony was received in support of the change. Galas reported attending the public hearing. Murchie moved and Sanchez seconded to accept the request. The motion carried unanimously.
WAIANAE COAST BOARD NO. 24 REPRESENTATION CHANGE – The Board’s proposal is to change the number of members’ seats from 25 to 15, with the number of at-large seats from 4 to 3. The public hearing was held and testimony in support received. The Board supported the change. Galas reported presiding at the public hearing.
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JULY 9, 2002
Manaku, a current Board member, spoke in opposition to the proposed changes. He noted that problems with Board members’ attendance was one reason the change was proposed, and that the same problem could continue even with a change in the number of seats.
Heinrich supported the Board’s proposal, but opposed the reduction by 10 seats. He also noted that the revisions to the Neighborhood Plan requires Boards either have all at-large seats or all subdistrict seats. If this provision passes, several Boards will have to change to one format or another after the new plan is adopted.
Galas moved and Wickramaratna seconded to accept the proposal. The motion carried unanimously.
KULIOUOU-KALANI IKI BOARD NO. 2 BOUNDARY CHANGE – The Board’s proposal is to combine subdistricts and reduce the number of sub districts from 8 to 5. The number of members’ seats will not be changed. The public hearing was held on two different seat representation proposals, one before by the Board and one by the Commission staff.
Heinrich suggested that there are better alternatives than have been proposed, and suggested the Commission defer action until other alternatives are considered.
Galas, who presided at the public hearing, noted that the Board unanimously supported one of the redistricting plans by a 10-0-0 vote.
Board Chair Terry requested support of the proposed change.
Glanstein noted that only 10 of 17 members voted for the proposed change. There is no position from the other members.
Galas noted that all the Board’s members had the opportunity to present testimony at the public hearing.
Sanchez moved and Galas seconded to defer this matter. The motion carried unanimously.
Spray reported that a public hearing on the Liliha Neighborhood Board name change will be scheduled.
Sanchez moved and Murchie seconded to add Executive Session to the agenda. The motion carried unanimously.
Sanchez moved and Galas seconded to defer the agenda to take Committee Reports at this time. The motion carried unanimously.
NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN – Previously reported.
BUDGET – No report.
ELECTION – Gudoy reported that the 2003-2005 election process is underway. Candidacy applications will be distributed late this fall and must be received by January 21, 2003. Ballots will be tabulated in April with election results announced May 1. Slightly less funds are available for this election and there has been a postal rate increase.
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JULY 9, 2002
Heinrich noted that the revisions to the Neighborhood Plan include a change in the effective dates of Board members’ terms two year terms from June 1 to May 31, to July 1 to June 30, to match the fiscal year. If the revisions to the Neighborhood Plan are adopted within the present schedule, the new terms would take effect beginning with the 2003-2005 term.
EVALUATION – No report.
Galas recused himself from the Complaint by Colleen Curry-Wearstler, as he is a candidate for public office for the upcoming election, as are several others who are on the Board.
Sanchez moved and Amantiad seconded to go into executive session to consult with the Commission’s attorney on questions and issues pertaining to the board’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities as it relates to the complaint by Colleen Curry-Wearstler. The motion carried unanimously.
The Commission went into executive session at 8:04 p.m., and ended the session at 8:24 p.m.
COMPLAINT BY COLLEEN CURRY-WEARSTLER AGAINST EWA NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD NO. 23 (FILED JANUARY 23, 2001; REVISED FEBRUARY 13, 2001) – Complainant Colleen Curry-Wearstler stated that her complaint is not against the Ewa Neighborhood Board, but against Board members Pam and Garry Smith. The complaint was filed because she felt threatened by the Smiths’ improper use of the voter registration list to notify the public to contact a private citizen.
Curry-Wearstler stated that her attempt to file a complaint on January 23 was denied by Executive Secretary Ben Kama. She sought to file the complaint seeking protection against the Smiths. She then sought assistance in revising the complaint from a City Councilmember’s staff. The revised complaint was accepted on February 13, 2001.
Curry-Wearstler reported that a flyer was distributed listing herself, Representative Willie Espero and his staff member Tom Berg, as opposing a skate park. Residents opposing this position were asked to contact Curry-Wearstler, Espero or Berg. Only Curry-Wearstler’s address was listed. The flyer did not identify who was responsible for producing the flyer. At the Board’s March meeting Neighborhood Commission Executive Secretary Kama stated that there was no proof anyone on the Board was responsible for the flyer.
Curry-Wearstler stated she is seeking enforcement of a federal law relating to misuse of a voters’ registration list.
Berg, as a witness, reported that the flyer contained misinformation that Ewa Mahiko Park was designated for a skate park. He noted that Garry Smith declared at a Board meeting that the voter registration list was available for him to use as he chose. Garry Smith also provided misinformation when he stated that Curry-Wearstler’s name was available on 10 internet web sites and in the phone book.
Curry-Wearstler reported that in January the issue only related to the printing of her name and address on the flyer without her knowledge. She noted that the Ewa Neighborhood Board has been trying to protect her from the actions by the Smiths.
Respondent Mary Ann Miyashiro reported that she was Chair of the Board when the incidents occurred. She noted that Board members have been receiving comments about this matter. She acknowledged that the Smiths received a copy of the Board’s mailing list from the Neighborhood Commission Office. She also noted that Curry-Wearstler’s name cannot be found on the internet or in old phone books.
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JULY 9, 2002
Miyashiro noted that the Smiths were not present as witnesses as requested to provide proof to Tanoue about where they found Curry-Wearstler’s address.
Miyashiro stated that Pam Smith obtained the Board’s mailing list from the Neighborhood Commission, saying it would be reviewed to purge the list or to select names from the list for a special mailing, and that the list was not returned to the Commission Office as requested. She also stated that the list was obtained just prior to a decision by Pam Smith to run for other public office. She noted that no other past or present member of the Board obtained the mailing list prior to running for other public office. The Board did not approve release of the mailing list to any member and did not approve the flyer.
Miyashiro stated that an individual should be allowed to file a complaint against an individual since the Neighborhood Plan does not say doing so is not allowed.
Miyashiro stated that it has become difficult at meetings to keep politics out as five of the members are running for other public office.
Bautista, as a witness, stated that he believed the matter could have been settled if the persons responsible apologized. He questioned the credibility of the Smiths’ statements. He noted the Smiths’ activities have divided the community.
In response to questions from Curry-Wearstler, Curry-Wearstler and Bautista spoke on violations of law relating to the use of the voter registration list, and the Smiths not asking permission to put Curry-Wearstler’s name on the flyer inciting the public to call her.
Berg, as a witness, commented on the Smith’s disruptive actions at Board meetings.
In response to questions Curry-Wearstler requested enforcement of federal laws relating to the use of voter registration lists.
Miyashiro requested the Commission to continue to request the Smiths to provide proof of where they found Curry-Wearstler’s address.
Miyashiro noted the Smiths’ disruptive behavior at Board meetings, and that no one has been able to change this behavior. She noted that there needs to be a way to take action against such members. Their disruptive behavior has also occurred after votes taken were not to their liking. She noted that such behavior is a violation of the oath of office, and that as elected officials, Board members need to be held to a higher standard.
Miyashiro requested the Commission write a letter to the State Elections Office regarding Garry Smith’s statements that he can use the voter registration list any way he wants to, and that this is a violation of the law and was done deliberately.
Questions from the Commission followed:
Miyashiro stated that the Smith’s are serving their second term on the Board. Their first disruptive incident began shortly after their first election to the Board. She acknowledged that they are hard workers, but do not take it well if votes do not go their way.
Curry-Wearstler was not able to prove to Murchie’s satisfaction, that the Smiths used the voter registration list to obtain Curry-Wearstler’s address. Curry-Wearstler’s stated that Garry Smith’s statement at the Board meeting was that the voter registration list was for his use. Murchie noted that
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the information could have been obtained from another source. Murchie also took issue with City Council staff assisting Curry-Wearstler on this matter.
Murchie moved and Amantiad seconded to deny the complaint and to have at least one commissioner attend meetings of the Board, send a letter to the Chair of the Board that a Commissioner will be monitoring the situation at the Board, and recommend the Chair follow Roberts Rules of Order. Discussion followed where it was noted that 1) it was not possible to confirm the source of the information the Smith’s used, 2) there may be political implications in this matter, 3) it may be possible to request further review of the Smiths’ activities to determine if other violations have occurred. The motion carried unanimously.
Vice Chair Sakamoto noted that the Commission will not pursue requesting the Smiths to provide proof of where they found Curry-Wearstler’s address, and will not write a letter to the State Elections Office, relating to Garry Smith’s statements about use of the voter registration list.
Tanoue noted that appeals to the Commission’s decision can be made to the Circuit Court.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: The next meeting is scheduled for August 13.
ADJOURNMENT: The meeting was adjourned at 10:01 p.m.
|Tuesday, June 10, 2003|