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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2008
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
I. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Chair Grant Tanimoto at 7:15 p.m.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Sheila Apisa, Brendan Bailey, Clara Ching,
MEMBERS ABSENT: None.
GUESTS: Tom Smyth (Chair, Downtown Neighborhood Board No. 13);
II. ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS: Roll call of Commissioners was taken at 7:15 p.m. with a quorum of eight (8) members present (Mobley was unofficially present).
III. FOR INFORMATION:
A. Executive Secretary’s Report – Joan Manke thanked everyone for coming and apologized for the late start. Ron Mobley was also welcomed and will soon be official with the Commission after being sworn in by Councilmember Marshall.
1. Special Election Update for
2. Other Highlights: Manke:
a) Testified at the State Legislature on legislation concerning neighborhood boards. The Administration fully supports open government; however, there are some common sense fixes that need to be applied to the Sunshine Law to allow board members some flexibility. Tanimoto advised that he will further cover this topic under legislative updates.
b) Testified before City Council regarding term limits of board members. The Administration fundamentally supports term limits, but supported Manke on her testimony in opposition of term limits because of concerns about vacant seats.
c) Received communication from Councilmember Marshall dealing with order and decorum. In deliberation at a Council hearing on term limits, a Councilmember pointed out some of the issues with public safety people being treated poorly.
d) Received a memo from the Police Department regarding issues they face when having to remain at board meetings for long periods or not being able to give their report early-on at the meeting.
e) Reported that Commissioner Gall suggested to re-look at neighborhood board boundaries to examine how best to determine area size and population in accordance with their board districts.
Chair Tanimoto entertained taking the agenda out of order to item 3D, Neighborhood Board Task Force Report by
D. Neighborhood Board Task Force Report –
Highlighted was the resolution introduced about term limits and another legislation regarding the Sunshine Law. The Council resolution 07-379, limiting board member terms was introduced by Councilmember Djou and was initiated due to the Task Force Report. However, whether the Task Force Report spurred the senate bill (SB) regarding the Sunshine Law, if at all was not certain. It was not known whether the SB would allow neighborhood boards to talk about business outside of a board meeting without fear of a Sunshine Law violation.
The Council appointed Task Force (TF), initiated by the audit report, met twice a month for over a year, soliciting input from board members, Commission members, and the general public. The end report is the work of a seven member task group of collected thoughts and opinions. It is the hope that there will be good discussion to bring needed changes to the Neighborhood Board System.
The TF tried to cover areas addressed in the audit relating to procedure, structure, and oversight by the Neighborhood Commission (NC), the Neighborhood Boards (NB) and the Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO); and that the opinions of the majority as well as the minority were recognized, including the many issues relating to the Sunshine Law. Also reviewed and taken into account was the audit report where the TF did a summary addressing specific issue. There were also a number of board members, commissioners and public who were recognized and thanked for religiously participating and giving input through out this process.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
1. In light of recent testimony before the City Council, the TF recommendation for term limits of five (5) was strongly opposed. Commissioner Gall asked whether the TF might have had a change of mind. Pahinui noted that the recommendation was based on input received from the community and other board members.
Uchida added in accordance with the Charter, the TF group focused on the idea to increase citizen participation and how to engage the silent majority/minority. It was important to bring in new members to inject and invigorate the Board as frequently as possible. Pahinui said it was an issue the TF struggled with and at the beginning were very much divided. And five two year term seemed to be the number the TF felt most comfortable for long term continuity, history and board memory while providing for a turn over as well.
2. Commissioner Young indicated that she understood and she has been on the neighborhood board since 1977. She expressed not wanting to continue to serve but if she did not, there would be no representation in her district. She has also recruited a family member to fill a vacancy. Pahinui stated that it was not an easy decision for the TF and recognized that some boards have issues with filling vacancies.
3. Glanstein asked an explanation as to why the TF was exempt from the Sunshine Law and had signed up to be on the mailing list. Pahinui replied that the TF was not required to follow the Sunshine Law, but they did. The TF was not allotted a budget for mail outs and all they could do was to post agendas and minutes on the web.
Pahinui and Uchida were thanked for attending tonight’s meeting.
C. Permitted Interaction Group (PIGroup):
1. Neighborhood Board System Audit Update – Jeanette Nekota reported that the PIG has not met due to a lack of members. Chair Tanimoto suggested putting together a committee to get restructured with the Task Force report and asked Nekota to champion the group, along with the appointment of Commissioners Sakamoto and Mobley to serve on the committee. Commissioner Ching asked for clarification that this would be a committee noticed agendas and minutes. Tanimoto acknowledged in the affirmative.
The agenda resumed order continuing with Committee Reports (agenda item 3B).
B. Committee Reports:
1. Budget –
Questions and comments followed:
1. Young questioned if funding for the new neighborhood board was included in the budget and Sakamoto acknowledged with a positive response.
2. Heinrich clarified for understanding the distinction between the NC and the NCO. The NCO is part of the administration and the NC is not part of the administration but serves as a function in the NB System and has far greater latitude in terms of encouraging testimony to the Council. He asked that the Commission consider that once the budget is presented on March 3rd by the administration that a statement of fact relating to the budget be given relating to the $20,000 for the web casting on-demand.
3. Takamura noted that in the past when he testified on the NCO budget, the reaction of Council was that they would prefer to hear testimony of interested board members. His questioned the value of testifying on a budget that was already put together and after the fact.
Without speaking for Council, Chair Tanimoto explained that during the three-month period when the budget is submitted, and if people are interested enough, they can make their positions known to Council members.
2. Training – Nekota reported: 1) On mandatory training for the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale NB No. 34. Discussion led to thoughts of a pilot project to videotape the training session and link it to the website for reference. 2) On a training session for the Nanakuli/Ma’ili NB #36 before the swearing-in of board members on April 1, 2008. Nekota added that this was done when
Questions and comments:
1. Chair Tanimoto raised question’s regarding the production location, staff support, distribution, video streaming on the NCO website link or ‘Olelo and the content or topics to be produced. Nekota responded that she envisioned that production would be done in the council committee room with distribution both through Olelo and video streaming, and with topics such as the Neighborhood Plan, basic parliamentary procedure which would include order and decorum, communication skills and how to run a neighborhood board. Ure added that duties of presiding officers should be included as well. Nekota emphasized the need to get started and go from there; and aim toward the end of March.
2. Ure suggested using an interactive (question/answer) portion through video streaming to guarantee whether someone watched it or not or went through the process. Nekota noted that the committee considered this idea and will be dialoguing with Kidani whether a program is available for this type of interaction program.
3. Ure noted that anyone without a computer will not be able to access the training. Nekota will be working with the Public Libraries on getting this access.
C. Permitted Interaction Group (PIGroup):
1. Neighborhood Board System Audit Update – Addressed earlier on the agenda and a restructuring committee was formed.
2. Neighborhood Board Minutes/NA Minute-Taking – Sheila Apisa met with Manke and Tanimoto to discuss and establish guidelines for both neighborhood boards and the NCO.
Mobley shared a comment on minutes, specifically relating to the new Neighborhood Plan (NP) where it establishes a 30-day criterion to have the minutes approved and posted; and where not having a meeting for over 60-days would make it impossible to follow the plan. His suggestion was to have a 30-day criteria for a draft set of minutes.
Chair Tanimoto asked to save the thought for discussion for the upcoming agenda item regarding the Draft Revised Neighborhood Plan.
E. Legislative Update –
Chair Tanimoto thanked the NCO who testified in support of the Sunshine Law exemption, the Coalition of Hawaii Engineering and Architectural Professionals, Bob Finley of the Waikiki NB No. 9, Mililani/Waipio/Melemanu NB No. 25,
IV. FOR ACTION:
A. Appointment of Chief Monitoring Officer for Special Elections for Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board No. 36 – Manke recommended the appointment of Piilani Kaopuiki of the League of Women Voters to serve as the Chief Monitoring Officer for the Special Elections of the Nanakuli-Maili NB No. 36. Kaopuiki served in this capacity in the previous regular board elections. Sakamoto moved to appoint Piilani Kaopuiki as Chief Monitoring Officer for the Special Elections of the Nanakuli-Maili Neighborhood Board No. 36; Young seconded the motion. No discussion followed. The motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent, 8-0-0. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Gall, Nekota, Sakamoto, Tanimoto and Young.
B. Council Resolution 07-379 regarding Term Limits – Manke reported that she testified before the Executive Matters Committee and again before Full Council in opposition of this resolution. She cited vacancy/quorum issues and the adverse impact term limits would have on the entire board system. Recruitment is an area that the NCO can focus on with the help of the Commission to brainstorm and identify ways to entice new membership. The TF recommendation cited problems in terms of continuity and adequate representation to the community. The request stemmed from dissatisfaction of issues relating to certain board meetings. While several board chairs came forward to present testimony, City Council inquired on the position of the Commission. Therefore, Manke presented this matter to the Commission tonight.
Gall moved that the Commission go on record in opposition to Council Resolution 07-379; Apisa seconded the motion. Discussion followed: 1) Sakamoto stated that she was not against recruiting new blood, but until a strategy is figured out, imposing term limits at this time will devastate the board system. 2) Smyth suggested strengthening the statement and noted that the mechanism could be complicated whether it be retroactive, or implemented as a Charter Amendment. 3) Takamura echoed looking at the resolution in terms of the quality versus quantity of the board membership and that old blood is better than no blood. 4) Representing Councilmember Djou’s Office,
More discussion followed: 1) Nekota noted that should this proposal be implemented, that more monies should be put in for training. 2) Mobley expressed his opinion that leaving it to the general population to decide on term limits without knowing the background, his guess would be that it will be approved and later stuck with the decision. 3) Young asked if Councilmember Djou understands if we don’t get the participation that this might lead to the demise of citizen participation because the board system is strictly an advisory board from a grass roots level with no compensation for members. It is difficult to understand the logic behind this term limitation resolution.
Gall moved to amend the motion to read, that the Neighborhood Commission go on record as “strongly opposing” Resolution 07-379; Apisa seconded the amended motion. Discussion followed: 1) Young asked that concerns such as “no blood is better than no blood” be put into a letter to City Council. 2) The mechanism by which the board system works is different from that of the City Council which is staggered. Nekota noted with 32 NBs having all new members, the NCO could be stuck with training every two years. 3) Ure pointed out that participation is the public and very grass roots of our communities. The mission would be to reach and involve the entire community into the meetings. Members are elected to represent their community and if they are doing a bad job, they will be “unelected.” She opposed the resolution. 4) Michelle Golojuch stated that this is a waste of money to put this on the ballot, and putting it on the floor of the City Council. The motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent, 8-0-0. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Gall, Nekota, Sakamoto, Tanimoto and Young.
C. Imposition of Remedy of Complaint:
Chair Tanimoto recapped that this matter never came before the Commission until tonight since September 2005 and he was under the impression that steps had been taken to provide training, but that Mr. Furuto no longer serves on this board. Manke stated that NB No. 8 admitted to the complaint, according to the Plan and brought forth to the Commission; and this is where a remedy was deferred.
Lockwood, Chair NB No. 8, noted that three current Commissioners served on this Commission at that time and four board members are still around from 2004 when Elwin Spray gave a presentation on the sub-district boundary issue. Lockwood reviewed the background of events leading to this complaint and relating to Furuto’s disorderly conduct and accusations; agreements of board members that his outburst was out of order, that the board was proper with moving after assigning the matter to committee, and a statement that Furuto’s statement heard at the meeting, was not consistent with the complaint that he filed. Lastly, Lockwood shared that the committee met and after Ms. Low tried 14 times or more, Furuto never responded to the committee notices.
Discussion followed: 1) Mobley recapped the details of the complaint that a presentation was made by Spray to a committee that was formed and the matter then referred. Then, under residents’ concern, Furuto stands to talk about the item that supposedly closed. Mobley indicated that Furuto cannot be ruled out of order, but that Furuto’s action can be ruled out of order; therefore, there is no fault on the board for what they did by parliamentary procedure. 2) Nekota also asked for clarification. Lockwood advised that the matter already went to public hearing, went to Commission and the board was asked to take another shot at it, which the Commission accepted.
Chair Tanimoto was informed by Corporation Counsel that the action not taken with respect to the remedy. Lockwood added that the remedy given was Sunshine Law and parliamentary procedure training. Young explained at this point that the remedy was completed inasmuch as training was held; therefore Young moved to dismiss the complaint (
D. Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale NB No. 34 – Filling of Vacancy – Manke referred to the Neighborhood Plan Section 4-2.2 reading from the Plan regarding the filling of a vacancy. Manke stated that there has been a vacant seat in excess of 60 calendar days in the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale NB No. 34. In the December meeting of the board, there were interested members of the community present; however, the votes cast were not enough to elect any of the interested persons. Also highlighted was Section 1-10.11, Imposition of Remedies by the Neighborhood Commission, which might apply should the Commission finds in favor of the complainant. Manke is bringing this matter before the Commission; although there is no outstanding complaint.
Mobley notes that the board has not been able to fill the vacancy and questions whether the Commission has the right to come up with a solution to fill it. Young suggested that Jane A. Ross, who had the next highest vote in the election, would be the most logical person to fill that seat if she is interested. Young moved that Jane A. Ross be appointed to fill the vacancy; Sakamoto seconded that motion. Chair Tanimoto was informed by Manke that the next Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale NB No. 34 meeting is Wednesday.
Discussion followed: 1) Ure raised a question for the Commission to think about regarding the date of the board member’s resignation when did the board announce on the agenda that there will be an election held, and that the appointment of the seat is done by the election of the board members and not the NC or the community. This is the only time it is done by the board members to appoint a board member. The Plan is moot on how long the process can continue and there is nothing in the current plan (brown book). 2) Kioni Dudley, acting chair NB No. 34, said Shad Kane had complaints filed against him and things said to him by the NCO where he felt he could no longer serve and resigned. Dudley was about to raise a past issue when Chair Tanimoto intervened and invited comments to help the Commission make a decision relating to this particular matter.
Young amended the motion to read that the NC strongly recommends that NB #34 appoints the next highest person that ran for election which is Jane A. Ross, as the remedy to this solution. Chair Tanimoto asked if there are no objections, hearing no objections, the Chair recognized Nekota who shared concern that the board has been deadlock (4-4) with no majority to pass. Young said if it is not the Commission’s position to appoint then this is the Commission’s recommendation or the next situation would be a special election. 2) Chair Tanimoto read from No. 34 meeting minutes of September 2005 what the votes have been. 3) Mobley understood that the original motion was made because of conferring with Corporation Counsel. Young commented that with encouragement from the community, the board needs to come to a compromise and do what they need to do.
More Comments followed: 1) Caroline Golojuch indicated that the situation is difficult having not been addressed or the remedy not condoned. 2) Timson noted if the Commission is not going to make any decision then the recommendation will not hold any water. Sakamoto moved to go into Executive Session to discuss this matter with Corporation Counsel; Apisa seconded the motion. The motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Gall, Nekota, Sakamoto, Tanimoto and Young.
The Commission went into Executive Session at 8:50 p.m.; reconvened at 9:10 p.m., eight members present.
Young withdraw her motion; Sakamoto seconded the withdrawal. Young moved that the NC strongly recommends that NB No. 34 appoints a replacement at their next meeting on Wednesday, February 27, 2008. If that does not occur, this issue will be on the next Commission agenda for action; Sakamoto seconded the motion. No discussion followed. The motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Gall, Nekota, Sakamoto, Tanimoto and Young.
E. Discussion and Adoption of the Draft Revised Neighborhood Plan – Tanimoto referred to handout RNP 2007 public hearing testimony summary (Grant’s notes 2/24/08); and briefly commented and highlighted on the sections as:
Section 2-11-7: Computation of time. Comment (Rezentes) regarding unforeseen circumstances which may affect the election filing deadline. Language from Corporation Counsel (COR) and Tanimoto addressed the comment; however, Tanimoto added a trigger taken from 301c (prior draft) which is more specific and reestablishes deadline dates. The change to read, “In the event of unforeseen circumstances which may affect the election process timetable…”
Section 2-11-28: Officer vacancy. Comment (Rezentes) the vacancy should be filled at either a regular or special meeting. The current draft indicates, “…at a regular meeting of the commission.” COR amended proposal reads, “…at a [regular] meeting of the commission.”
Section 2-11-34: Request for review. Tanimoto indicated the concept is the same; if there is a request for review the commission can take action, “…at a meeting”, regardless of regular or special meeting.
Section 2-14-4: Membership vacancy. Comment (
Section 2-17-13: Insufficiency of candidates. Comment (S. Glanstein) as it relates to expiration of existing board members and insufficient candidates. COR agrees that, “…the unfilled seats shall be declared vacant after certification of the election results.” Tanimoto’s recommendation, “…after certification of the
election results pursuant to section 2-17-13.”
Section 2-18-1: Request for review. Comment (T. Smyth) as it relates to the complaint process, the 10-day response period for the Board to respond is too short due to the time between Board meetings. COR agreed that the time is too short. Tanimoto’s recommendation, “…the response may within [10-days] forty- five days of receiving the response request in writing…pursuant to section 2-18-2.” The 45-day response time is parallel with other language in that section and a more appropriate time to take action.
Section 2-18-3: Hearing to impose sanctions. Comment (Rezentes) omitted sanctions against a board officer, even though included in 2-18-4.
· In section 2-18-3 (a): The recommendation, “…may impose sanctions on a board [or an officer or member of a board] or a current board member;”
· In section 2-18-3 (k): Comment (Rezentes) the respondent is not given a chance to cross examine anyone if the complaint is brought by the commission. Why isn’t cross examination allowed?
Tanimoto recommended to amend as follows: Section 2-18-3 (a) The initiation of a hearing to impose sanctions against a board or a current board member for alleged violation(s) of this plan in accordance with this section may be initiated by (1) The executive secretary, at any time, by written recommendation to the commission; (2) The commission at anytime, by adoption of a resolution; (3) A board, upon the filing of a complaint with the commission office on a form provided by the commission office within forty-five days calendar after the alleged violation(s); or (4) a member of the public, upon filing a complaint with the commission office on a form provided by the commission office within forty-five days calendar after the alleged violation(s).
Other comments followed: 1) Chair Tanimoto said these were changes that were suggested which COR agreed on with some tweaking for easier reading. He also mentioned that Ching had some comments as well. Young suggested comparing Ching’s comments with the Plan; however, Tanimoto entertained action regarding tonight’s comments from COR just discussed. Young had no problems with the comments from COR. Apisa moved to accept the recommendations (Grant’s summary, as supported by COR with minor differences); Young seconded the motion. No discussion followed. The motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent, 8-0-0. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Gall, Nekota, Sakamoto, Tanimoto and Young.
Regarding Ching’s comments for proposals to the Plan, she asked that Commissioner’s re-look at the amendments and the rationale (page 2 of her handout). With regards to possible changes from Ching, Chair Tanimoto suggested the possibility of a special meeting to address the changes on the spread sheet.
F. Special Commission Meeting Date – Chair Tanimoto noted the possibility of a special meeting on Monday, March 17, 2008 to follow-up on the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale NB No. 34, certify the election results of the Nanakuli-Maili NB No. 36, and to focus on the changes of the NP; with continuation at a Regular Commission meeting on Monday, March 31, for final review and adoption of the NP. The meetings will commence at 6:30 p.m. for both March 17 and 31.
V. PUBLIC CONCERNS:
A. Maeda Timson (Makakilo NB No. 34) – Timson shared the same concerns from last month about Kioni Dudley’s abusive behavior. She received no response and tonight she expressed another concern of an email from
Manke stated that she understood that there will be police presence on Wednesday, but that there was a request of Timson to submit a complaint. Timson explained her reason for not submitting a complaint due to the fact the NCO is only now processing complaints from 2004 and is fearful of what might happen over the next four years and addressed her letter directly to Chair Tanimoto for a response.
C. Jo Jordan (Waianae NB No. 24) –
D. Debbi Glanstein (
F. Caroline Golojuch – Golojuch distributed copies of documents (February 12, 2004, April 3, 2004, faxed May 21, 2007, and January 28, 2008) and highlighted advised that her husband, Michael Golojuch, would not be in attending and she shared a letter that was sent to the NCO regarding the need to fill the vacant seat on the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale NB No. 34. In her professional opinion, to gain order and decorum in your neighborhood board meetings, the Commission needs to start listening and start responding to the boards. She felt let down because the No. 34 will face another difficult meeting and she invites everyone to come.
F. Ron Lockwood (Chair, McCully/Moi’ili’ili NB No. 8) – Lockwood announced that NB. No. 8 will be meeting at Central Union Church from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The monthly calendar reflects incorrect information.
VI. ADJOURNMENT: Without any objections, the meeting adjourned at 10:02 p.m.
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