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CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
APRIL 13, 2004
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
CALL TO ORDER AND INTRODUCTION OF COMMISSIONERS: Chair Wickramaratna called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. At this time the Commission members introduced themselves.
COMMISSIONER’S PRESENT: Kalene Sakamoto, Roy Wickramaratna, Pohai Ryan, Ed Gall, Ben Gudoy, Ben Sanchez, Jeanette Nekota, Clara Ching.
COMMISSIONER’S ABSENT: Ray Galas.
STAFF: Benjamin Kama (Executive Secretary), Kelley Santiago, Sheri Kajiwara.
GUESTS: Clifton Takamura and Ron Lockwood (McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8), Linda Young, Mike Golojuch and Maeda Timson (Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34), Carolyn Golojuch, Michele Golojuch, Keith Timson, Michelle Matson (Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No. 5), David Pagan, Seth Harris (City Corporation Counsel).
1. Clifton Takamura reported on his continued effort to organize an informational brochure on understanding the Neighborhood Board system.
Pohai Ryan acknowledged Takamura’s efforts and suggested that the Neighborhood Commission Office spearhead the project.
Benjamin Kama agreed with Ryan and stated that he would appoint a member of his staff to work on the project.
APPROVAL OF REGULAR MEETING MINUTES OF MARCH 9, 2004: The following corrections were made:
Page 2, COMMISSIONER’S REPORT, CHAIR, should read: “Wickramaratna attended the February 25, 2004 Regular Meeting of the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meeting”.
Page 2, COMMISSIONER’S REPORTS, COMMISSION MEMBERS, the following should be inserted: “Gall attended the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No. 5 on February 12.”.
Gall moved seconded by Ryan to approve the March 9, 2004 Regular Meeting Minutes as corrected. The motion carried unanimously, 8-0-0.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND CORRESPONDENCE: None.
Gall welcomed newly appointed Commissioner Clara Ching to the Commission.
CHAIR – Wickramaratna reported attending the March meetings of the Aiea Neighborhood Board No. 20 and the Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23.
Gall reported attending the March meetings of the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No. 5 and Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board No. 3 and noted that both meetings were well conducted.
Nekota reported attending Waianae Neighborhood Board’s April 6, 2004 meeting. She noted the lack of training of board members and stated that members are unaware of training sessions held by NCO.Ryan reported attending the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meeting held on March 24.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY’S REPORT: Kama reported presenting testimony at City Council’s Budget Committee Meeting held earlier today. He expressed the need for monies to maintain the Senior Elections Clerk position needed for the upcoming neighborhood board elections and opposed budget cuts affecting the NCO. The next hearing regarding the City Budget will be held on April 22.
Executive Session – Pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 92-4 & 92-5(a)(4) & (8), for the purpose of consulting with the Neighborhood Commission’s Legal Counsel on questions and issues pertaining to the Commission’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities, especially in relation to the complaint proceeding which follows the agenda.
Gall moved seconded by Sakamoto that the Commission and Kama enter Executive Session. The motion carried unanimously, 8-0-0.
6:41 p.m. At this time, all guests were asked to exit the room as Commission members entered Executive Session.
7:25 p.m. – The Executive Session ended and the meeting resumed.
Chair Wickramaratna called the meeting to order.
Recommendation by Executive Secretary to dismiss complaint filed on February 13, 2004 by Linda E. Wong against the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No. 5 – Sakamoto moved seconded by Gall to dismiss the February 13, 2004 complaint filed by Linda E. Wong being the complaint was not filed with forty-five (45) calendar days from the date of the alleged violation(s) in accordance to Section 1-10.4 of the Revised Neighborhood Plan (RNP).
Michelle Matson reported that Linda E. Wong was unable to attend tonight’s meeting due to an illness and presented testimony on her behalf requesting the item be deferred until the next meeting. She also requested that complaints filed by herself in December 2003 and January 2004 against the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood be added to next month’s agenda for discussion.
The motion carried unanimously, 8-0-0.
Wickramaratna noted that according to Section 1-9.1 of the Revised Neighborhood Plan (RNP), an appeal to the dismissal may be filed.
Request for pre-hearing and public hearing for the eight complaints filed against the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board –
Ryan moved seconded by Sanchez to hold a pre-hearing and public hearing regarding the eight complaints filed against the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34 with Dudley as the respondent.
Maeda Timson noted her objection to the motion and added that such hearings are not contained in the Neighborhood Plan.
Seth Harris, City Corporation Counsel, noted that Section 1-10.1 of the Revised Neighborhood Plan allows for the hearings to take place.
Carolyn Golojuch also expressed opposition for the hearings. She suggested to the Commission that prior to tonight’s meeting, the board and complainants be informed of what was taking place at the meeting regarding the complaints.
Chair Wickramaratna responded by noting that the agenda clearly states a “request for pre and public hearing”.
Timson questioned if Kioni Dudley was aware that the hearings would not take place at tonight’s meeting. Furthermore, she commented that the Board received a letter from Kama stating the contrary and expressed disappointment with the Commission.
Kama agreed that a letter was sent to the Board indicating a public hearing would not be held. Kama explained after confirming with Counsel that complaints admitted to by the Board do not require a pre or public hearing, he sent the letter. However, a response from the respondent, Kioni Dudley was received requesting the hearings. He reiterated that Dudley’s request was placed on the agenda by the Commission to consider.
Timson commented that she felt the Commission has violated the Sunshine Law and procedure is not being followed.
Golojuch stated that she has concerns regarding the communications from the Neighborhood Commission Office regarding her complaint and purpose for being at the meeting.
Ryan noted that the Commission has to approve the process of a pre-hearing, which allows Corporation Counsel to interview the parties involved. She added that the Commission was not aware that anyone was promised otherwise and according to the information given, the Commission is following the Neighborhood Plan. Ryan also noted that in this situation, there is a strong objection from Dudley in which the Commission will honor.
Kalene Sakamoto suggested that Harris clarify what procedures would take place regarding the hearings.
Sanchez expressed concern regarding a letter sent by Kama to the members of the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board stating that there would not be a public hearing.
Kama noted that the letter sent to the board members indicated there would be no public hearing, however, it is the discretion of the Commission to decide on having a hearing or not.
Kama reported that if the motion is passed to hold a hearing, a date for a pre-hearing must first be set in which the complainant and respondent shall appear before corporation counsel to determine the issues to be heard and resolved by the commission. Corporation counsel will then submit the issues to the commission and upon it’s submission the commission will have thirty days to call for a public hearing with the involved parties.
Timson inquired to the process by which the Commission notifies the parties regarding the complaints and Dudley and questioned why Dudley was not present at the meeting.
Ryan explained that the Commission is not able to answer for the reason Dudley is not present. She reiterated that the Commission was unaware of correspondence sent to the board by Kama in reference to not having a public hearing.
Sheri Kajiwara clarified the complaint process and hearing procedures.
Timson argued that she and other complainants were not given the opportunity to explain why the public hearing is not necessary. She added that she has audio, video and written correspondence as evidence to compliment her complaint. Timson raised concerns of safety and noted her fear of Dudley. She noted that she would hold the Commission responsible for the safety of the board members during its regular meetings.
Sanchez suggested to Timson that a police report be filed against the person she feels threatened by.
Ryan acknowledged the concern for safety of board members and suggested that Police Chief Donahue continue to send an officer to the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meetings.
Linda Young recommended better communication between the Neighborhood Commission office and Neighborhood Boards. She also noted her concern for safety and equated such to workplace violence.
The motion carried, 7-0-1. (Nay: Nekota)
Ryan moved seconded by Gall to send a letter to Chief Lee Donahue requesting an officer present at the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meetings.
Kajiwara reported speaking to Deputy Chief Paul Putzulu who informed her that an officer is removed from the beat to accommodate the board. He recommended that an off-duty police officer be hired. The Commission may not be able to have an officer present at all board meetings due to fund constraints and officer availability.
Ryan suggested an amendment to the motion to include sending a copy of the letter to the Mayor to signifying the importance of protection at the board meetings.
Ryan moved seconded by Gall to send a letter to Chief Lee Donahue and Mayor Jeremy Harris requesting an officer present at the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meetings.
Nekota suggested a letter be sent to Dudley regarding his behavior at board meetings.
Timson noted that Kama sent a letter to Dudley regarding his conduct at the board meetings.
Discussion continued regarding safety concerns at board meetings.
Ryan suggested another amendment to also request a meeting be held with the Mayor and Commission regarding the safety concerns at neighborhood board meetings immediately.
The amendment was accepted.
Ryan moved seconded by Gall to send a letter to Chief Lee Donahue and Mayor Jeremy Harris requesting an officer present at the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board meetings and hold a meeting immediately with the Mayor and Commission regarding safety concerns of the Neighborhood Boards.
The motion carried unanimously, 8-0-0.
Neighborhood Plan – None.
Budget – None.
Elections – None.
SCHEDULING OF THE NEXT NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING: The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, 2004.
ADDITIONAL ANNOUNCEMENTS: None.
ADJOURNMENT: Sakamoto moved seconded by Nekota to adjourn the meeting. The motion carried unanimously, 8-0-0.
Without objection Chair Wickramaratna adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m.
|Thursday, June 03, 2004|