CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU
MINUTES OF REGULAR MEETING OF NOVEMBER 8, 2005
KAPOLEI HALE CONFERENCE ROOM, 1ST FLOOR
1000 ULUOHIA STREET, KAPOLEI, HAWAII
CALL TO ORDER: Chair Pam Witty-Oakland called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. with a quorum present.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Roy Wickramaratna, Ed Gall, Clara Ching, Jeanette Nekota, Pam Witty-Oakland, Mike Ellis, Kalene Sakamoto.
MEMBERS EXCUSED: Sylvia Young, Pat Lee.
GUESTS: Jay Ishibashi (Managing Director’s Office), Jennifer Waihee (City Deputy Corporation Counsel), Cynthia Rezentes (Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board No. 24), Karen Awana (Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board No. 24), Andy Anderson (Waipahu Neighborhood Board No. 22), Tom Heinrich, Linda Ure (Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31), Georgette “Jo” Jordan (Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board No. 24), William Woods (Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board No. 16), L. Gary Bautista (Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23), Jon Chinen (Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31), Debbi Glanstein (Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31), Al Furuto (McCully-Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8), Bill Wilson (Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31).
STAFF: Baybee Hufana-Ablan (Executive Secretary), Michelle Kidani, Elwin Spray.
APPROVAL OF THE APPROVAL OF MINUTES FOR REGULAR MEETING OF AUGUST 8, 2005, MINUTES FOR ADJOURNED MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 13, 2005, AND MINUTES FOR REGULAR MEETING OF OCTOBER 11, 2005: Chair Witty-Oakland asked for commissioner’s corrections on the circulated Minutes and the set of Commission Office correction sheets for the Regular Meeting of August 8, 2005; there were no additional changes. Chair Witty-Oakland recognized Ure, who distributed a page and said that, on page 3 -- that fourteen days might be a better timeline for minutes production, on page 4 – that draft minutes prior to publication are draft corrections, and that when a guest speaks when a Commissioner is speaking that the characterization should not be that the Commissioner was “interrupted” but that the guest said “point of order.” Woods said that correction sheets were distributed by mail but that the sheets were not posted on the web-site. With no objection, Chair Witty-Oakland declared the August 8, 2005 Regular Meeting Minutes approved with the printed corrections sheets 7-0-0. Aye: Wickramaratna, Gall, Ching, Nekota, Witty-Oakland, Ellis, Sakamoto.
Chair Witty-Oakland asked for commissioner’s corrections on circulated Minutes for the Adjourned Meeting of September 13, 2005 and the Minutes for the Regular Meeting of October 11, 2005. Ching referenced her comment from Adjourned September 13, 2005 Minutes and said her request was to have distributed her written statement and the other material she had distributed at the September 13, 2005 meeting, be included in the October 11, 2005 session minutes and requested that they be included in the November minutes.
COMMISSIONER CHING’S STATEMENT:
Ching also said that her statement at the last meeting should be “Ching also said that statements recorded by Corcoran and Ure were redundant and should be edited.” Woods said that, on page 6 of the October 11th Session, CMO Chung should be shown as saying that Chung did not remember if Chung was present during the counting or proceedings. With no objection, Chair Witty-Oakland declared the September 13, 2005 Session Minutes for the Adjourned Regular Meeting of September 13, 2005 Minutes approved as corrected 7-0-0.
EXECUTIVE SECRETARY’S REPORT: Hufana-Ablan distributed a written report and highlighted the scheduled performance audit of Neighborhood Board System and a status of complaints filed with the Commission Office.
Hufana-Ablan reported that the previously-reported performance audit of Neighborhood Board System has been scheduled by the City’s auditor’s office to start in December 2005. She noted that the audit is being done as a response to the passage of the Council resolution, with one of the first sections of the City Council’s proposed resolution reading, in part: “WHEREAS, the Council has heard concerns from Neighborhood Board Commissioners that the neighborhood board system is not fulfilling its mission, that the neighborhood plan has not been completed in accordance with the time period set by the Charter of the City and County of Honolulu and that there is little accountability in spending by the Neighborhood Commission Office;”
Hufana-Ablan also gave a complaint status report to Commissioners, explaining that the formal complaint process is defined in the Neighborhood Plan. She explained that any resident of that board’s community might file a complaint against a Neighborhood Board. She reported that the number of complaints for each year is as follows: 2001-1, 2002-2, 2003-7, 2004-3, and current year 2005-8 complaints. If the board does not agree to the content of the complaint, a hearing needs to be held by the Commission to determine evidence in the case, with preliminary steps being handled through the Corporation Counsel’s Office. Once the evidence is heard or is agreed to by the board, a Commission meeting to determine an appropriate remedy will be scheduled. Several complaints are being prepared to be presented to the Commission an. Hufana-Ablan asked that Commissioners be prepared to hear several complaints at their next meeting.
POLICY OF STANDARDIZED MINUTES FOR NEIGHBORHOOD BOARD MEETINGS - Chair Witty-Oakland invited public comments. Ure said that she had put together a packet of material with regard to the minutes, distributed several pages and highlighted “there is demonstrably no call to standardize board and commission minutes” and said that there are differences in availability, pages, fonts and formats. Ure said that there were too many changes of staff assignments for boards. Woods said that the boards and staff differ and the difference in styles makes it extremely difficult to set out uniform guidelines. Woods said that the style should be left to the board officers, especially to the secretaries.
Budget Committee: Chair Witty-Oakland deferred a report due to Sakamoto’s absence.
Election Committee: Wickramaratna announced he had no report at this time but would under the October 11, 2005 meeting agenda.
Plan Committee: Gall presented former Commissioner Tom Heinrich to report on the status of the Neighborhood Plan revision process. Heinrich noted that the Commission at its August meeting had requested an update, including a “clean text” draft (with the notes removed), which was now with the committee and had been available to be reported out at September’s Kapolei meeting. He intends to make available an electronic copy of the draft for the web, will consult with the Corporation Counsel on the draft, and will give a 15-step procedure memo to the committee. Chair Witty-Oakland asked that discussion be deferred to the October 11, 2005 agenda. Matusow stated that she wanted to recreate minutes of past committee meetings, saying that she has notes for meetings of October 5 and October 19, 2002 but would like to have notes for November 16, 2002 and January 4 and February 22, 2003, as well as Corporation Counsel communications on revision proposals. Gall offered to work with the Commission Office to discover notes.
COMMISSIONER CONCERNS: Chair Witty-Oakland asked for comments, noting that the Corporation Counsel had expressed concern about the use of the agenda item; there were no comments.
PUBLIC INPUT: Chair Witty-Oakland opened the meeting for public input.
ADJOURNMENT: Lee moved, seconded by Gall to adjourn the Adjourned Regular Meeting of September 13, 2005. Chair Witty-Oakland announced, without objection, the adjournment of the Adjourned Regular Meeting of September 13, 2005 at 8:15 p.m., 7-0-0.
NEIGHBORHOOD PLAN REVISION PROCESS: Chair Witty-Oakland started to discuss the Neighborhood Plan revision process. Rezentes asked about the committee organization agenda item, with Chair Witty-Oakland explaining that since Budget Committee Chair Sakamoto was not present she would defer the item. Chair Witty-Oakland then thanked all those involved in the Plan revision process, noting that she understands that many people had dedicated many hours to drafting revisions to the Plan, especially the members of the Ad Hoc Plan Revision group formed by the Neighborhood Commission’s Neighborhood Plan committee. Heinrich reported that the final version he was working on was 97 to 98% complete, that he can’t be held to a completion date but that it would be within the next two months. He noted that as a timeline, if the completion were on his estimated date, then a public hearing could be held after January 1st, 2006, allowing for 45-60 days between the first availability for review and the first public hearing; he noted that there should be at least 3 hearings. Lemon asked if the date of the final would be January 1st 2006; Heinrich said it would be generally 3 months. Chair Witty-Oakland asked when the final draft could go to the Corporation Counsel; Heinrich explained that an annotated public review draft needed to be done. Woods said that the final draft needed to go to the Ad Hoc committee first. Chair Witty-Oakland said the draft should go to the Corporation Counsel for legal review first, then to the Ad Hoc committee for intent. Woods said minutes of the Ad Hoc committee should be available and that he is concerned that the executive secretary has control over the process, as he feels there are major problems with the Neighborhood Commission Office exercising control of the final draft. Takamura noted the Neighborhood Board system is an example of democracy in action. Glanstein noted that although the process is almost complete that assistance should be given to Heinrich. Lemmon said that the current 97% draft should be distributed to the Boards now rather than waiting until January. Young said she thinks the process has been going on for 8 years and wants to move on. Young moved, seconded by Nekota, to accept the 97% Plan and give it to the Corporation Counsel. Chair Witty-Oakland ruled the motion out of order as the agenda item was for discussion only, listed under FOR INFORMATION. Nekota said that the Commission’s August 2005 motion was to have the draft in hand after 30 days. Chair Witty-Oakland said that the Committee had received the draft. Nekota said that the motion was to retrieve the draft, which is now past the September deadline.
COMPLAINTS PENDING: Chair Witty-Oakland noted a packet on the status of pending complaints was received and would be reviewed at future meetings.
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, relating to the Commission’s rules.
ADJOURNMENT: Chair Witty-Oakland thanked the audience for attending the meeting and, at 9:55 p.m., without objection, adjourned the meeting.
Submitted by Elwin Spray, Neighborhood Commission Office staff