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MONDAY, APRIL 20, 2009
REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
530 SOUTH KING SREET,
I. CALL TO ORDER: Commission Chair Grant Tanimoto called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Sheila Apisa, Brendan Bailey, Clara Ching, Bob Finley, Ed Gall, Ron Mobley, Jeanette Nekota, Grant Tanimoto, and Sylvia Young.
MEMBERS ABSENT: None.
GUESTS / STAFF: Jon Chinen (Member,
II. ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS: A roll call of Commissioners was administered with all nine (9) members present (Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto, Young).
Kirk Caldwell, City Managing Director, presented a lei and thanked Commissioner Ching for her dedication and service to the Neighborhood Commission as this would be her last meeting.
III. MONTHLY REPORTS:
A. Executive Secretary’s Report – Joan Manke reported on the following:
FY2010 Budget – Hearing was held on April 13, 2009 on Bill 15, CD 1, which indicated that proposed cuts to the NCO budget were deferred. There is still a need to be prepared in the event the cuts surface again in the next budget draft. Proposed amendments included:
· Reduce funding for vacant positions ($56,292); there are no vacant positions, so this cut will affect warm bodies.
· 5% pay cut to Mayor, Managing Director, Department Heads, Deputy Department Heads, and Excluded Managerial: to be determined.
· Reduce salaries by $36,786; any reduction will adversely impact services to neighborhood boards in meeting deadlines and the preparation of minutes for board meetings.
· Reduce current expenses by $8,578; this 5% reduction will adversely impact videotaping of board meetings and the mailing of minutes with the agendas.
The next Council hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 2:00 p.m.
B. Request For Proposal (RFP) – Online Voting Services For 2009 Neighborhood Board (NB) Elections
The vendor, Everyone Counts Inc., was selected last week to conduct the 2009 neighborhood board elections. The company is based out of
C. Complaints Update
To date, four (4) complaints or “requests for review” have been received under the new plan:
D. Other items
The following items were noted for the Commissioners information and review:
· Advertiser article from April 15, 2009 by Jerry Burris entitled, “All-mail election a crucial test.”
· Letter from Frank Lavoie, chair of
· Letter from Steve Glanstein, chair of
· Letter from Dick Poirier, chair of
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
· Presentation at
· Complaints – A question was raised as to whether a board can file a complaint against a board member who becomes upset with other board members and then announces that he will vote against any action taken by these board members. It was noted that a board member has a right to file any complaint, but should not announce the complaint at the board meeting.
· Request for COR Advisory – A request was made for an advisory from COR whether a board can meet without complainants present to determine the board’s defense. It was noted that this question was raised previously and needs follow up from COR.
· Executive Secretary Salary – A question was raised about the appropriateness for the NCO budget to fund the Executive Secretary’s salary for duties performed for city lights programs. A suggestion was made that comments on this issue be made at the Council Budget hearings.
E. Chair’s Report – Chair Tanimoto reported on the status of the last remaining legislative bill relating to neighborhood boards, HB 1148, regarding public agency meetings. House and Senate conferees have been appointed and there have been minor differences in the language between the two bills. There has been no opposition.
IV. PUBLIC CONCERNS:
Improper Action by Minute-Taking PIGroup – Concern was expressed that the Minute-Taking PIGroup did not follow HRS 92-2.5bC whereby deliberation and decision making occurs at a duly noticed meeting held subsequent to a meeting at which the findings and recommendations are presented. A review of Commission minutes indicated that this matter was not presented at its February meeting and therefore could not be voted on at its March meeting. The adoption was not proper and is not in effect.
Non-Perishable Donations – In response to a question raised at the March 23, 2009 Commission meeting regarding the Kailua Neighborhood Board’s request for non-perishable donations and whether this was ethical; it was reported that the Ethics Commission (EC) Director confirmed that the neighborhood boards do not fall under the EC as board members are not elected officials.
Concerns about the NCO and NC – Five points were identified in a statement of concern about the NCO and NC: (1) The NC is micromanaging neighborhood boards; (2) Imposing uniformity on neighborhood boards contradicts the essential nature of neighborhood boards; (3) There are no benchmarks to determine the effectiveness of the boards; the inability to resolve complaints in a timely manner; the inability to organize itself effectively to provide training sessions; and a continuing perception of an effort to establish a political base for its agenda; (4) collective resignations should be seriously considered; and (5) Efforts will be made to amend the City Charter.
Agenda Template – It was noted that actions taken by the NC have not been supportive of the neighborhood boards. The Commission’s purpose is to follow the City Charter to assist boards upon request and not to dictate to them. A question was raised as to whether the use of the agenda template and minute-taking guidelines by neighborhood boards are mandatory.
Chair Pro Tem – There is a need to clarify who can serve as the Chair Pro Tem – the longest serving member on a particular board or the person who served the longest in the neighborhood board system and served on several boards.
Violation of Sunshine Law – It was noted that action taken by the Commission on March 23, 2009 regarding the agenda template and minute-taking guidelines was in violation of the Sunshine Law. Concerns were expressed that COR has not provided the necessary advice to Commissioners about their duties and Commissioners should resignation.
Senior Board Members – A list has been compiled for each neighborhood board identifying the most senior board member (longest continuous tenure on a particular board) who has served on a particular board. It was requested that this be published before July 1, 2009.
Lack of Candidates – Reference was made to a letter from the Executive Secretary to candidates in uncontested race areas. An objection was made to the wording about the lack of individuals seeking to fill seats in uncontested areas and that the NCO need to look at ways to increase participation and candidate recruitment.
V. APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
A. Regular Meeting – March 23, 2009 – APPROVED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT as amended.
· Page 2, under IV. Public Concerns, change “elections start” to “election term starts” to read, “Ensure that the election time schedule is followed and election term starts on time on July 1.”
· Page 4, under VII. C. Modify Budget Committee . . ., change “Chair Tanimoto” to “Commissioner Mobley” to read, “Commissioner Mobley moved that the Commission retain the Budget Committee and form a PIGroup for the purpose of identifying possible future cost savings . . .”
· Page 6, under IX. Commissioners Roundtable, delete the second sentence “When the Neighborhood Plan was developed, it specifically stated that the COC was limited to only two commission members” to read, “Commissioner Ching noted her concern regarding the Conference of Chair (COC). With a possibility of a COC in August, Commissioner Ching asked whether there are any reasons why all the Commissioners cannot attend because this is one of the fiduciary responsibilities of the Commission. Commissioner Ching’s concern was duly noted.”
B. Executive Session Minutes – March 23, 2009 – Deferred to later portion of agenda
C. Executive Session Minutes – February 23, 2009 – Deferred to later portion of agenda
1. Budget (Sylvia Young, Ron Mobley and Bob Finley) – The Committee did not meet due to Commissioner Young’s unavailability, but will convene a meeting shortly.
2. Training (Jeanette Nekota and Ron Mobley) – The Committee did not meet, but will convene next month.
B. Permitted Interaction Groups (PIGroup)
1. Elections (Brendan Bailey, Ed Gall, Ron Mobley and Grant Tanimoto) – Bailey provided a brief update. On April 15, 2009 the NCO entered into a contract with San Diego-based Everyone Counts, Inc. (ECI) for online voting services and phone voting option in the 2009 NB elections. The company was among four (4) that responded to an RFP and was selected after the bids were evaluated by an independent three-member panel, which included Bailey.
The following updates were provided:
· ECI Headquarters is based in
· ECI has provided online voting services for the National Democratic Party,
· ECI’s proposal will be made available for review. Written assurances in ECI’s proposal regarding privacy concerns and security measures have been met and ECI’s main database will be maintained in
· Bryan Mick has been working with ECI to meet deadlines with regard to transmitting voter data, etc.
· ECI will also provide an automated phone voting option in English only.
· Voter mail outs will be sent on May 1, 2009; NB elections will run from May 6–22, 2009.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
· A concern was raised that voters in uncontested districts will not receive a notice/voter mail out due to NCO’s limited funding. Election results will be published.
· To better inform the public of the election and to access candidate profiles, suggestions were made for the NCO to issue a press release to the major newspapers and specifically request a hyperlink set up, place an ad in MidWeek, and create a link at neighborhoodlink.com.
Chair Tanimoto called a recess at 8:25 p.m.; Meeting reconvened at 8:30 p.m.
· A Special Commission meeting will be held on May 26, 2009 to verify the election results; NB Installation Ceremony is targeted for June 20 at Mission Memorial from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon with a reception to follow.
· The Commission will set up an informational meeting with ECI the first week in May.
· A request was made for the NCO to provide a standard summary that can be read by the NB Chairs at the May meetings on how the election is being conducted.
2. Minute-Taking (Sheila Apisa, Ron Mobley and Grant Tanimoto) – The PIGroup did not meet.
3. Neighborhood Board System Audit (Ed Gall and Ron Mobley) – The PIGroup did meet and hope to have copies of the Audit report completed by May 11 for the Commissioners review and input.
4. Cost-Savings (Sylvia Young, Ron Mobley and Bob Finley) – Since the Budget Committee did not meet, the Cost-Savings PIGroup has not yet been established.
A point of clarification was requested regarding the formation of PIGroups and its members under HRS 92-2.5 that only the Commission may establish a Committee or a PIGroup. Mick stated that he was advised by the Office of Information Practices (OIP) that a Committee can establish a PIGroup.
VII. COMMISSION BUSINESS:
A. Complaints under the old Revised Neighborhood Plan (1998 Edition):
Complaint # 0409-22-15 (filed September 10, 2004)
Calvin Kawamoto vs.
Adoption of Findings of Fact (FOF) dated March 11, 2009 to Sustain Complaint
Chair Tanimoto provided a brief overview on this complaint that was heard by the Commission on January 11, 2005. The proposed FOF is now before the Commission stating that the Board Chair’s title was inappropriately used in a political advertisement, as alleged in the Complaint.
The Commission ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 9-0-0 (AYE: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto, Young) the FOF issued by COR to sustain and close Complaint #0409-22-15.
Complaint # 0410-30-18 (filed October 29, 2004)
Glenn Ida vs.
Adoption of Findings of Fact (FOF) dated March 11, 2009 to Sustain Complaint
Chair Tanimoto provided a brief overview of this complaint that was heard by the Commission on January 11, 2005. The proposed FOF is now before the Commission sating that the several board members and the Board Chair’s title was inappropriately used in a political advertisement, as alleged in the Complaint.
The Commission ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 9-0-0 (AYE: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto, Young) the FOF issued by COR to sustain and close Complaint #0410-30-18.
B. Complaints under the 2008 Neighborhood Plan:
Grant authority to the Executive Secretary to perform the actions set forth in Section 2-18-101 (2) (b) and 2-18-101 (3) (d) and (e). These sections provide for review of the complaints, along with responding and mediating, as applicable. This would also allow the Executive Secretary to regularly report to the Commission on the complaints and to make recommendations.
Manke stated that four (4) complaints have been received under the new Neighborhood Plan. Granting this authority to the Executive Secretary would allow expeditious review of these complaints.
Mobley moved, and Gall seconded, to grant authority to the Executive Secretary to perform the actions set forth in Section 2-18-101 (2) (b) and 2-18-101 (3) (d) and (e), which was ADOPTED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 9-0-0 (AYE: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto, Young).
C. Agenda Template and Minute-Taking Guidelines and related Policies and Procedures Resolution Opposing Imposition of an Agenda Template on all Boards and Calling for the Neighborhood Commission to Rescind its Agenda Template Approval from Hawaii Kai NB #1
Resolution Opposing Imposition of an Agenda Template on all Boards by the Neighborhood Commission from
Both Resolutions were received expressing opposition to the Agenda Template and Minute-Taking Guidelines and forwarded to the Commission for review and discussion.
The following comments were noted:
· Support was expressed for the positions of both Boards and it was noted that a review of meeting minutes prior to 2008 is needed to determine whether the establishment and duties of the Minute-Taking PIGroup were properly set forth.
· The Executive Secretary’s cover letter dated April 3, 2009 that accompanied the one-page agenda template and minute-taking guidelines did not include directions to what the agenda template was, how to put it into practice, and how to respond by evaluation.
· A point was raised that the initial convening of the Minute-Taking PIGroup was to investigate how to train minute takers to take good minutes and agendas were not included. The agenda template gives priority and is out of protocol, with the Mayor’s representative leaving the board meeting before the community can ask questions.
VIII. EXECUTIVE SESSION: The Commission went into Executive Session at 9:00 p.m. and reconvened at 9:15 p.m.
· The next Commission meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 18, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Honolulu Hale.
· A Special Commission meeting to verify NB election results is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Honolulu Hale.
X. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.
|Monday, June 22, 2009|