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CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING
JUNE 14, 2005
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Roy Wickramaratna called the meeting to order at 7:10 p.m. with a quorum present.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Ed Gall, Jeanette Nekota, Tom Heinrich, Kalene Sakamoto, Clara Ching, Mike Ellis and Roy Wickramaratna.
MEMBERS ABSENT: Ben Sanchez.
GUESTS: Michael Golojuch (Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34), Jennifer Waihee (City Deputy Corporation Counsel), Al Furuto (McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8), Maeda Timson (Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34 – outgoing Board Chair), Gary Bautista (Chair Pro Tem, Ewa Beach Neighborhood Board No. 23), Gail Gomes (former Commissioner), Mr. Gomes, John Gollner (McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8), Carolyn Golojuch, Sylvia Young (Nuuanu/Punchbowl Neighborhood Board No. 12 and Commissioner-designee).
STAFF: Executive Secretary Baybee Hufana-Alban and Elwin Spray.
INTRODUCTION AND WELCOME: The Commissioners introduced themselves. There were six members present (Gall, Nekota, Heinrich, Ching, Ellis and Wickramaratna). Chair Wickramaratna welcomed the audience and introduced Executive Secretary Baybee Hufana-Ablan and Elwin Spray of the Neighborhood Commission Office and Jennifer Waihee, Deputy Corporation Counsel. Chair Wickramaratna welcomed Commissioner-designee Sylvia Young, also a member of the Nuuanu/Punchbowl Neighborhood Board No. 12, who assumes a Commission term starting June 30, 2005.
APPROVAL OF THE REGULAR MEETING MINUTES OF JANUARY 11, MARCH 15, AND MAY 10, 2005: Chair Wickramaratna deferred approval of the Regular Meeting Minutes of March 15 and May 10, 2005 until the next meeting, noting that although Commissioners had copies of these minutes, they had yet to be mailed out. Chair Wickramaratna deferred action on the previously deferred portion of the Regular Meeting Minutes of January 11, 2005 until the next meeting (at the March 15, 2005 meeting the Regular Meeting Minutes of January 11, 2005 had been approved as amended with the exclusion of the New Business section).
PUBLIC INPUT: Chair Wickramaratna invited public input for matters not otherwise listed on the agenda.
1. Al Furuto and John Gollner, both members of the McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8, discussed community and audience participation; Furuto noted that his experience was that Board members do not encourage general community participation but actively discourage it. Furuto noted that blocking participation was a violation of the Plan; to which Nekota commented that the Neighborhood Plan had few remedies for dealing with Plan violations.
2. Maeda Timson, member of the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34 (outgoing Board Chair, elections have yet to be held for the new term), reported her concern that the Commission’s process is flawed in two respects: first, in a decision of the Chief Elections Monitor to authorize the recount of a Neighborhood Board (NB) No. 34 candidate’s ballots, no communication was made to the other candidates on the NB No. 34 ballot, nor to the current NB, nor to the current NB Chair, and second, that the Neighborhood Plan lacks teeth in the order and decorum section and in section on Commission powers in dealing with all complaints. Timson expressed her concern that a NB No. 34 Board Member insulted a City employee at the May 2005 Board meeting and urged Commissioners to observe the ‘Olelo-broadcast of the meeting with the intent of assisting the Boards or the Commission with more powers to deal with breaches in order or decorum. She explained that she had written letters directly to Commissioners on these issues and asked that the Commission respond in writing to her concerns.
3. Ewa Beach Neighborhood Board No. 23 Chair Pro Tem Gary Bautista requested training and, for future years, more advance assistance from the Commission Office with regard to the Chair Pro Tem position, explaining that since the Ewa NB has not elected a regular chair at its June 9, 2005 meeting, he continues in the unexpected position of the Board’s Chair Pro Tem.
4. John Gollner (McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8) expressed concern that the Commission Office’s new policy of two-hour staff-time limitation for the active recording of minutes will not improve community participation at his board. Gollner noted that the departure of the Neighborhood Assistant would also mean the loss of the public address sound system used by the Board for to aid the audience in hearing.
5. Commissioner-designee Young noted that short meetings are regularly achieved by her Board, and many other Boards, and suggested the Commission should set an example of achieving two-hour meetings.
6. Carolyn Golojuch discussed the New Business section of the January 2005 Commission Meeting Minutes and insisted that the section’s immediate release was critical to current activities.
7. Timson noted problems with achieving a shorter agenda due to requirements to accommodate the public, legislators and others requesting to make presentations but commented that she would make the attempt although she offered that she would be first be cutting non-City agency presentations and that the Commission should expect complaints from them.
ELECTION OF NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION OFFICERS FOR THE 2005-2006 YEAR: Chair Wickramaratna noted that the requirement for an election of Commission officer’s was not for the June meeting, but was a requirement of the Boards from the Neighborhood Plan; the Commission’s requirement is more properly on the July meeting agenda. Nekota moved, seconded by Gall, to defer of election of Commission Officers until the July 2005 meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY’S REPORT - Executive Secretary Baybee Hufana-Ablan reported on the activities of the Commission Office, stressing: distribution of the Hoiki Lono to Boards (distributed to Commissioners and audience), relocation of half of the office staff to Kapolei Hale while maintaining a Honolulu Hale presence, planning for two future orientation sessions (June 12 and July 28, 2005), planning for a future (reported as the “last training session”) information practices training session (June 28, 2005), successful completion of the installation ceremony, successful completion of the Parliamentary Procedure training workshop (May 14, 2005), and attendance (160) at the first session of the information practices session (May 14, 2005).
Commissioner Sakamoto arrived at 9:15 p.m. Seven Commissioners present.
Hufana-Ablan reported on the plan for shortening of Neighborhood Board meetings, reminding that the request for the shorter meetings is coming from the community members themselves who are questioning why a meeting will sometimes continue until after 11:30 p.m. She noted that a regular meeting length would facilitate the ‘Olelo broadcasting, enabling better program scheduling. She also noted a meeting of the outgoing Neighborhood Board Chairs (April 28, 2005) where the Managing Director Jeff Coelho made the request to have City agencies, including Mayor’s Representatives, placed on the Board’s agendas at the beginning, so that City issues are discussed together. She asked the Boards to make the attempt for the 9:00 p.m. meeting and noted that she would evaluate the progress after three months. Commissioners asked to be in communication regarding plans such as the limitation on staff time; Hufana-Ablan noted that she had discussed the need for shorter meetings with Commissioners at her first meeting with them in January and February 2005.
VERIFICATION OF ELECTION RESULTS BY THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION PURSUANT TO SECTION 3-7.9, REVISED NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN 1986 (1998 EDITION):
Chair Wickramaratna deferred verification of election results.
STATUS REPORT ON PENDING COMPLAINTS FILED IN ACCORDANCE WITH CHAPTER 1, ARTICLE 10 OF THE REVISED NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN 1986 (1998 EDITION): Hufana-Ablan reported that there were eleven active complaints, with three others having recently declined to continue due to both the issue having been discussed and that the specific Board against whom the complaint had been filed was now beyond its term of office. She will continue to work with Deputy Corporation Counsel Jennifer Waihee to see if any of the other complaints will also fall into the “moot” category discussed above and will report at the July meeting.
CONSIDERATION OF THE FISCAL YEAR 2006 (JULY 1, 2005 TO JUNE 30, 2006) BUDGET PROCESS (CITY COUNCIL BILL 12, CD1 & CD2 RELATING TO THE EXECUTIVE OPERATING BUDGET), PREPARATION OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD SYSTEM BUDGET, PREPARATION OF INDIVIDUAL NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD BUDGETS, AND SPECIFIC BUDGET RELATED IDEAS: Hufana-Ablan reported that the budget had been passed by the City Council and the Office was considering issues to be placed in the next year’s budget (FY 2007), with the process formally starting in September 2005. Ching asked if the FY 2006 Budget was sufficient, specifically asking if there will be enough Neighborhood Assistant staff available to service the Boards; Hufana-Ablan replied that the budget was presented by the prior administration but that she felt it was adequate for current needs. Nekota and Ching inquired about NA job qualifications; Hufana-Ablan replied that she would provide a copy of the NA job description, but explained that the NA's primary responsibility is to provide service to the Boards, so they need both the ability to write and general computer skills. Hufana-Ablan explained that her responsibility over the next months will be to educate the staff -- and herself -- stressing accurate writing of minutes and parliamentary procedure skills. She stressed that the educational process will result in improved service to the Boards. Nekota commented on the need for communication; Hufana-Ablan said the need for communication was mutual, but pointed to reorganization of the administration, the election process, and the dislocation of the office as it split to serve the two areas, and stressed that she had the courage to seek out solutions and invited Commissioners to continue to work to better the Boards.
CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSED RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING THAT THE “NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION OFFICE” BE RENAMED AS THE NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD SYSTEM OFFICE”: Chair Wickramaratna deferred the item to the next meeting.
CONSIDERATION OF PROPOSED RESOLUTION RECOMMENDING THAT ALL POSITION DESCRIPTIONS FOR THE NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION OFFICE STAFF, INCLUDING THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, BE REVIEWED AND UPDATED BY THE CITY ADMINISTRATION: Heinrich suggested deferring this item until the next meeting when he would have a draft resolution for Commissioners to review for consideration. Gall moved, seconded by Wickramaratna, that the issues of Office Staff position descriptions be included with that of training ideas and be referred to the Commission’s Training Committee. After Commission discussion, Chair Wickramaratna deferred the item pending a submission by Heinrich.
BUDGET: Sakamoto had no additional report to the issues already discussed, announcing that the Budget Committee would plan to meet prior to the Commission meeting in July.
ELECTIONS: Chair Wickramaratna spoke for the Election Committee, and had no additional report.
NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN: Gall spoke for himself and committee co-chair Wickramaratna, reporting that there might be discussion in Executive Session, but that the draft Neighborhood Plan was still being reviewed prior to release for public review.
TRAINING - Jeanette Nekota announced that the Training Committee would meet in advance of the next meeting.
COMMISSIONERS’ OPEN FORUM: OPPORTUNITY FOR GENERAL DISCUSSION REGARDING COMMISSION ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS, PLANNING FOR FUTURE MEETINGS AND ACTIVITIES, NETWORKING, COORDINATION WITH OTHER AGENCIES AND ORGANIZATIONS, MEMBERS’ CONCERNS, ATTENDANCE AT NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD MEETINGS, ANNOUNCEMENTS, ETC.: No additional reports were made.
SCHEDULING OF NEXT NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION REGULAR MEETING: Without objection from Commissioners, Chair Wickramaratna announced the next meeting will be on Tuesday July 12, 2005 at 7:00 p.m. Chair Wickramaratna announced that the Neighborhood Commission would continue to tentatively schedule to meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 7:00 p.m., alternating between Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale.
FORMER COMMISSIONER COMMENTS: Former Commissioner Gail Gomes endorsed Hufana-Ablan’s training proposals for both newly-elected Board Members and Chairs and encouraged the Commission Office to continue to seek new training opportunities.
EXECUTIVE SESSION: Ching moved, seconded by Ellis, that the Neighborhood Commission, pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Sections 92-4 and 92-5(a)(4) & (8), for the purpose for 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 comprehensive revision effort of the Revised Neighborhood Plan, recess the regular meeting and meet in executive session. Chair Wickramaratna recessed the regular meeting at 10:20 p.m. The executive session adjourned at 10:44 p.m.
ADJOURNMENT: Without objection, Chair Wickramaratna adjourned the regular meeting at 10:45 p.m.
Submitted by Elwin Spray, Neighborhood Commission Office staff
|Wednesday, July 06, 2005|