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MONDAY, JULY 23, 2007
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
KAPOLEI HALE, CONFERENCE ROOM C
I. CALL TO ORDER: Chair
GUESTS: Paul Herran, Diane Kawauchi, Jennifer Waihee and Donna Woo (Corporation Counsel); Tom Smyth (Downtown Neighborhood Board No. 13); Rich Hargrave (Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23); Jon Chinen, and Debbi Glanstein (Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31); Dr. Kioni Dudley and Maeda Timson (Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34); Tom Heinrich (Manoa Neighborhood Board No. 7); Myrtle Nyuha (Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21); Cynthia Rezentes (Waianae Neighborhood Board No. 24); CC Curry, Carolyn Golojuch, Michael Golojuch, Jr., Keith Timson and Roy Wickramaratna; NCO – Cameron Heen, Kathy Jaress, Michelle Kidani, Joan Manke, Wendy Matsukado, and Marie Richardson.
II. ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS: Roll call of Commissioners taken at 7:05pm with a quorum of six (6) members present.
A. Complaints: Golojuch vs Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34 – Remedy for Complaints. Chair Tanimoto announced that this complaint will be deferred to a future meeting as all parties were not made aware of the agenda item in a timely manner. It was noted that attempts were made by leaving telephone messages for individuals involved. Manke apologized and agreed that standard procedures must be followed to notify individuals in writing, advising that their complaint will be placed on the Commission agenda.
B. Neighborhood Plan Update. Chair Tanimoto requested that this subject matter be moved to the end of the agenda.
IV. FOR INFORMATION:
A. Executive Secretary’s Report: Manke reported on the following:
1. Neighborhood Commission Office Update. In the past year and six months that Manke has served in the Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO), staffing needs and filling vacancies have been a top priority. Manke advised that as of July 25th, 2007, the NCO will be fully staffed and better able to achieve its goals, meeting deadlines and catching up on backlogs that were inherited, especially in the area of complaints. Manke acknowledged that there are complaints that are a couple of years old, including one made by Michael Golojuch, Jr.
2. Introduction of New Staff Members. Manke welcomed Wendy Matsukado as the new Secretary for the NCO as of June 1st, 2007. Matsukado’s duties will include coverage and minute-taking for Commission meetings. Manke expressed her appreciation to Marie Richardson, Neighborhood Assistant (NA), for her assistance in the interim while also covering her regular duties. Other new staff members are: Leland Ribac, NA, who joined the staff on May 28th, 2007; and Bambi Wong, Senior Clerk, who will be starting on July 25th, 2007.
3. OCA Intern Introduced. Manke announced that Kathy Jaress began her 6-week internship in the NCO on June 26th, 2007. Her internship is sponsored by the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA) whose program gives young individuals the opportunity to learn about civic duties and grassroots democracy. Commissioner Sakamoto, a member of OCA, was instrumental in this assignment to the NCO. Jaress was asked to write a term paper upon completion of her internship.
4. Staff Assignments/Changes. Manke noted that Stephen Rodrigues has been out on extended leave. To provide coverage at Neighborhood board meetings, there has been some movement in staff assignments and locations between the Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale offices. Manke noted that she is mindful that consistency and continuity of services to boards are of utmost importance when assigning staff.
5. 2007 Installation Ceremony. Manke reported that the installation ceremony on June 2nd, 2007 was a success with about 200 members present for the orientation, Sunshine Law training, swearing-in and reception. She noted that the PowerPoint presentation used during the training session is also available on the NCO website. This year the Mayor gave out city seal lapel pins at the ceremony and certificates were later given to board members at their first meeting. Tom Heinrich commended the NCO for a successful event as he received a lot of positive feedback about the ceremony and activities.
6. Vacancies In Boards. Manke reported that there were about 64 seats with no candidates in the recent 2007 election. An ad was published in Mid Week to help solicit interested residents to fill these vacancies. The NCO received calls from individuals in response to the ad and since boards began to meet in June, 15 of the 64 seats have been filled. The NCO is looking for innovative ways to get individuals from 21 communities to fill their vacancies. A new member’s guidebook has been prepared and is being distributed as part of an information packet for board members to receive at their first meeting. Manke noted that information in the packets are also available on the NCO website in an effort to get out as much information as possible to board members. In the future, newly appointed members will receive information packets as well.
7. Sunshine Law Training. Manke reported that Sunshine Law training is scheduled for August 14th, 2007 at 5:45pm at the Honolulu Hale Mission Memorial. She clarified that the ordinance states that at the time of swearing in, a board member is not required to receive Sunshine Law training if the member received such training in the 2 preceding calendar years. In some cases, a member may not need training for more than 4 years.
8. Congratulations to Ed Gall. Manke congratulated Ed Gall on his reappointment as Neighborhood Board Commissioner to serve another five (5) years.
9. Complaints Tracking. Manke reported that a new complaint tracking system has been created which will record all complaints in an Excel spreadsheet format. This new tracking system will allow the NCO to more efficiently capture information and keep up-to-date with the status of each complaint. Manke noted that she is working with her staff, Cameron Heen, and Corporation Counsel to produce findings of fact that will bring closure to pending cases. Tanimoto thanked Manke and noted that there were six (6) complaints filed in 2007 from different boards involving various issues.
B. Committee Reports:
1. Budget Committee. Sakamoto advised that there is no new information to report and deferred to Manke asking for the status of the proposed cut of $107,000 to the NCO budget, Manke advised that the proposed cut was deferred and that monies were added to the budget which allowed for the Senior Clerk position to be filled.
Commissioner Ching expressed concern regarding videographers providing copies of DVDs for the NCO library and questioned the contents of the videographers’ contracts. Tanimoto acknowledged Ching’s concerns and stated that there have been previous discussions on this topic. Heinrich asked for input from Michelle Kidani and noted that he watched a Palolo Neighborhood Board No. 6 meeting in June 2007 and questioned the appropriateness of discussion between the chair and the videographer during the meeting.
Heinrich also commented on the fiscal budget of 2008 and the need for further discussion with the Commission and individual boards in the preparation of budgets for review by Budget and Fiscal Services in October/December.
Young suggested that this topic be moved to the agenda for the next meeting. Curry, certified ‘Olelo videographer, requested that she and others who are familiar with ‘Olelo’s policy be present to discuss duties of the videographer and their contract. Sakamoto to follow-up and prepare discussion for the next meeting.
2. Training Committee. Nekota reported that training is pending the outcome of the Neighborhood Plan. She noted that the proposed training schedule was adopted at the last Commission meeting in May.
C. Permitted Interaction Group (PIG):
Neighborhood Board System Audit Update and Task Force. Manke reported that the Task Force continues to meet every other Monday and that the chair, Kathleen Pahinui, has been encouraging board members and the public to attend. The Task Force created a timeline for the next few meetings to target specific subject matters such as the structure of the Neighborhood Board system, elections, and the budget. Manke encouraged Commission members and all present to attend these meetings especially if there are specific items that individuals may want to discuss. She noted that the Task Force website is linked to the NCO website. Smyth requested that meeting reminders/cancellations be sent via email as a standard practice. Manke stated that she will forward Smyth’s request to Councilmember Djou’s office. Discussion continued about the activities of the Task Force, including the suggestion by Manke to invite Pahinui to attend the next Commission meeting to give an update on the Task Force report. Glanstein asked whether training sessions on Parliamentary procedures and order and decorum will be scheduled, as well as a conference of chairs. Manke responded that the Training Committee established a schedule and that more discussion will be held before a conference of chairs is scheduled. Training Committee chair Nekota noted a question that was raised about diversity training and advised that she sent out surveys to gather training topics from the public and that there was only a 5% response.
D. Legislative Update:
Chair Tanimoto reported that House Bill 1512 was passed in the State House and is now with Senator Lorraine Inouye’s committee. He advised that he personally spoke with Senator Inouye and that she welcomes input. She will be available to meet in September and interested participants are invited. Smyth and Heinrich volunteered to attend the meeting to discuss House Bill 1512.
V. FOR ACTION:
A. Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of May 21, 2007. Apisa moved to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of May 21, 2007 as circulated and Young seconded. No discussion followed. The motion carried by unanimous consent, 8-0-0. Aye: Apisa, Ching, Gall, Kaahanui, Nekota, Sakamoto, Tanimoto and Young.
B. Formation of Revised Neighborhood Plan Permitted Interaction Group (PIG) to review response from Corporation Counsel – Deferred.
C. Designation of Members for Neighborhood Board Minutes/NA Minute-Taking PIGroup.
Chair Tanimoto noted that this topic was discussed in prior meetings. Commissioner Apisa volunteered to take the lead in the PIGroup with Tanimoto. Commissioner Ching stated that she did not agree that a PIGroup was needed as it circumvents the Sunshine Law. She noted that Manke and her staff have already made significant changes and improvements with writing minutes.
VI. PUBLIC CONCERNS:
VII. PERMITTED INTERACTION GROUP (PIGroup) continued:
Neighborhood Plan Update. Chair Tanimoto reported that the Commission received great feedback from Corporation Counsel representatives Donna Woo, Diane Kawauchi, and Jennifer Waihee in response to the proposed draft of the Revised Neighborhood Plan. Kawauchi noted that Corporation Counsel appreciated the opportunity to review the document which included conforming the format of the document to the administrative draft rules and separating the document into three separate parts. She explained that the reason for the separation is because the amendment process for each part is different and that the charter mandates that the Neighborhood Plan section be subjected to multiple public hearings. She further stated that Corporation Counsel tried very hard to achieve the Commission’s intent and not substantively change the document. Also, there was a need to use consistent language throughout the document if the intent was to say the same thing; otherwise, it would appear that the Commission intended different things by using different terminology.
Corporation Counsel requested the opportunity to candidly share their analysis in executive session. Tanimoto asked if there could be a general discussion for the benefit of individuals that devoted their Saturdays to review the plan. Kawauchi explained that Corporation Counsel conveyed their recommendations in an attorney-client confidential communication to the Commission. The Commission may choose to waive some or all portions of their privileged communication after having reviewed the revised plan and recommendations.
Tanimoto noted section 11-102 which states: Officers and employees are prohibited from disclosing confidential information gained by reason of such person’s office for position of use of such information for their personal gain.
Smyth questioned if the entire submission to Corporation Counsel is now considered a privileged document and that individuals on the PIGroup cannot review it because they are not on the Commission. Tanimoto responded in the affirmative and that as of this moment the PIGroup cannot review it if individuals are not on the Commission. Smyth pointed out that there is no privilege associated with the content of the document, but only with the advice about the document.
In response to a question about a timeline as to when public hearings will be held, Tanimoto stated that the Commission must first review and digest the document before discussing publicly.
Gall moved that the Neighborhood Commission go into executive session to consult with the boards’ attorney(s) on questions and issues pertaining to the boards, powers, duties, privileges, immunities, liabilities with respect to the Neighborhood Plan. Sakamoto seconded. There was no discussion. Executive session began at 8:08pm and ended at 9:00pm.
Without any objections, the meeting adjourned at 9:04 p.m.
Wendy Matsukado, Secretary
Neighborhood Commission Office
|Wednesday, August 22, 2007|