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MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2009
NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES
I. CALL TO ORDER: Chair Grant Tanimoto called the meeting to order at 7:10 pm.
Members present – Sheila Apisa, Brendan Bailey, Clara Ching, Robert Finley, Ed Gall, Ron Mobley, Jeanette Nekota, Grant Tanimoto and Sylvia Young (arrived 7:25 pm).
Members absent – None.
Guests – Ron Lockwood (Chair,
II. ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS: A roll call of Commissioner’s was administered. A quorum was present with eight (8) of nine (9) members (Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, and Tanimoto). Chair Tanimoto informed everyone that Commissioner Young is off island. The agenda reflected one change, Public Concerns, moved up on the agenda to item 4; and one addition, Commissioner’s Roundtable as item 8.
III. MONTHLY REPORTS:
A. Executive Secretary – Joan Manke reported:
1. Staffing – Bryan Mick has been promoted as the Executive Assistant; Denise Saylor, soon to be on board, as the Community Relations Specialist; and Elwin Spray, will be retiring after 21 years on January 30, 2009. Peter Salbiejo is the newest Neighborhood Assistant going through his training and probation period; and training continues to be work in progress with Richardson and Glanstein being tasked with training staff.
2. Executive Secretary Re-confirmation – City Council’s agenda for Wednesday, January 28, 2009, is the first reading for the confirmation of Joan Manke as Executive Secretary; a second reading of the Executive Matters Committee is scheduled for February 11, and the full Council thereafter. Manke looks forward to the opportunity to serve in the NCO, with more challenges and successes.
3. Budget – During this economic down turn and the process of working through the NCO’s budget, there are great concerns and challenges of having to do more with less.
Heinrich noted on Elwin Spray’s service to a majority of the neighborhood boards, and acknowledged Bryan Mick’s recent advancement and past service to the Manoa NB; both were congratulated.
B. Chair – Grant Tanimoto reported the following: 1) With the success of Act 153, OIP has introduced a bill to extend the concept to all boards/commissions. There is no bill number yet but in speaking with Paul Tsukiyama, such a bill is in the works, and members may want to consider weighing-in on the issue. 2) SB570, relating to the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, requires HHC to make presentations to the neighborhood boards; and SB669, relating to Elections (Election Campaigns; Contributions) would require NB candidates to spend more than $1000 to register with the Campaign Spending Commission. 3) That Deputy Counsel Don Kitaoka has been reassigned and Deputy Counsel Elizabeth Contrades is now assigned to the NCO.
Commissioner Young arrived at 7:25 p.m. (9 members present).
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
· It was noted that SB570 is the responsibility of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL). It was also emphasized that as the bill moves forward, there needs to be a clear distinction of responsibility.
· Heinrich advised that he is on staff with Senator Brian Taniguchi during this legislative session. The Senator is the chair of the Judiciary and Government Operations, and that these bills will ultimately come before his committee. Relating to SB570, such properties as Bowl-O-Drome in Mo’ili’ili and the land adjacent to Stevenson Middle School in Punchbowl would be affected and perhaps the Commission could ask COR to research where NB’s are referenced in all the revised ordinances of Honolulu. It affects not only the LUO’s (Land Use Ordinance), but also the NBs graphically; and perhaps this can be added this to the Commission’s “To Do List.”
· Generally, the developer is the one who would come before the NB’s with a presentation and not the landowner; and unless the language is different than what it is currently, there will not be much of an impact. This is not a Hawaiian Homes Lands issue, but rather an issue of the developer.
1. Committees vs. Permitted Interaction Groups (PIGroups) – Chair Tanimoto explained that the Commission had at different times formed committees and PIGroups, depending on the particular assignment.
Manke provided the names of members of established Committees and Permitted Interaction Groups. Committees: a) the Budget Committee needs a chair to replace Kalene Sakamoto; b) the Training Committee is led by Jeanette Nekota and member Ron Mobley; c) the Neighborhood Board System Audit Committee is led by Jeanette Nekota and member Ron Mobley. Permitted Interaction Groups: a) the Elections PIGroup is led by Brendan Bailey and members Ed Gall, Ron Mobley and Grant Tanimoto; and b) the Minute Taking PIGroup is led by Sheila Apisa, and members Ron Mobley and Grant Tanimoto.
Tanimoto added that there is a need to think about the structure of how Commission business is done and its involvement on different topics. The committees are subject to the Sunshine Law and PIGroups allow for more flexibility. Manke clarified that the NB System Audit was originally formed as a PIGroup, but later restructured on February 25, 2008, as a regular Committee; Ching agreed it was originally formed as a PIGroup.
Gall offered some input on the Audit using a matrix chart and his overview indicated that most criticisms were raised from the City Auditor and the Council Task Force. Mobley also reviewed the matrix and noted that there were cases that were wrong. On November 10, 2008, Nekota and Mobley met to finalize the issues facing the NB’s and NB System; and whether it should be structured as a PIGroup or committee.
With regards to the Training Committee, Nekota noted that different NBs were well represented with input through a survey and although the Audit Committee has been unable to schedule any meetings recently, it expects to move forward.
Other comments noted that whether a PIGroup or Committee is formed, it must ultimately report back to the full Commission, being mindful of its charge and its distinct purpose. Another comment noted hat there are one member committees called Emphasis Leaders.
IV. PUBLIC CONCERNS:
A. Daisy Murai – resident, who regularly attends NB meetings, expressed concern of not being able to review resolutions that NB’s have taken action on and asked if adopted resolutions can be accessible on the NCO website. Ron Lockwood, Chair of the McCully-Mo’ili’ili NB, explained it is in draft form when first presented until adopted by the Board and on his agenda includes a brief description of what the resolution is about. After adoption, the resolution is included as part of the minutes.
Other comments suggested draft copies are available for the public at NB meetings when being presented and available on the website after adoption. It was stressed that the Commission look at consistency and structure, and of the inclusion of significant attachments. Gall added that the rising cost of postage and paper, will soon be too expensive to even mail out minutes.
B. Tom Smyth – member, Downtown NB No. 13 noted that after the passage of Act 153, there was no follow-up by the Commission or the NCO summarizing that NB’s can now meet without a quorum. He strongly urged the Commission or NCO to get the word out so NBs can act now. Tanimoto said it is posted on the NCO’s website and was discussed at the Conference of Chairs by Paul Tsukiyama of the Office of Information Practices.
C. Dennis Egge – member, Aliamanu NB No. 18 referred to an effort of resolving
Discussion followed with a question from Apisa about the number of NBs with vacancies, and Mick replied there are 12 NBs with vacancies. Apisa agreed with Gall that the Commission should evaluate whether 36 NBs are necessary: Mobley asked how many NBs cannot take any action due to a lack of quorum. Heinrich made a distinction that there are three NB areas that were established in the 1970’s but no Initiative Petitions have been filed. Part of the area is where Egge referred to where issues relate to
V. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Tanimoto was informed that previous meeting minutes did not get on tonight’s agenda; it will be posted for approval on the Commission’s next meeting agenda.
A. Special Meeting Minutes of November 10, 2008 – Apisa moved to approve the Special and Regular Meeting Minutes of November 10, 2008 and November 24, 2008; Finley seconded the motion. Discussion followed with Mobley noting that by Robert’s Rules of Order, it is not required for a motion or second; and if there are no corrections it can be approved by unanimous consent. Hearing no objections, the minutes were approved as circulated.
B. Regular Meeting Minutes of November 24, 2008 – Although the meeting minutes had been approved as circulated; Young asked that the November 24, 2008 Meeting Minutes reflect cost amount relating to the Election. See Attachment 1 following ADJOURNMENT. The correction was accepted for filing.
1. 1. Budget – Young and Mobley were appointed to the Budget Committee; there were no objections.
2. Training – Nekota and Mobley are members of the Training Committee. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 23, 2009 at 6:00 pm (prior to the regular Commission meeting).
3. Neighborhood Board System Audit – Nekota initially had the lead with former Commissioner, Robin Makapagal. Gall offered to take over the Audit, as a PIGroup. Nekota agreed.
NA Richardson indicated that the formation of a PIGroup needs to be on next month’s agenda. Heinrich raised a point of order that because this is internal for the Commission, that the Commission may entertain a motion to add it to the agenda by a two-thirds vote. Young moved to add to the agenda the dissolution of the existing Neighborhood Board System Audit Committee, and replacing it as a Permitted Interaction Group. Apisa seconded the motion. Discussion was brief in that the consensus was in agreement. The motion was ADOPTED with the necessary two-thirds vote required, 8-0-0. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto and Young.
Apisa moved to make the Neighborhood Board System Audit a Permitted Interaction Group to investigate NBs and the findings of the City Auditors and Council Task Force, and appointed Commissioners Gall and Mobley. No discussion followed. The motion was ADOPTED unanimously. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto and Young.
B. Permitted Interaction Groups
1. Elections PIGroup – Bailey reported that the procurement of the online voting system for the 2009 Board Election is going to be done by Request for Proposal (RFP) process and expected to go out to bid within the next few weeks. It is still anticipated that the election will take place from June 1 - 15, 2009.
Questions, comments and concerns followed:
· The NCO has worked with Commercial Data Systems for two years. All the publicity it got during the previous pilot online election resulted in interests from other vendors. And because the cost is more than $25,000, the City’s procurement law requires that the bidding process be followed. A panel that will review and examine the proposals and determine whether it meets the NCO’s election needs.
· There are a number of internal deadlines imposed by the procurement process and by the end of March it is expected that a selection will have been made; and Bailey is confident those deadlines will be met.
· The Commission needs to take a form of action to suspend the rules of the Neighborhood Plan timeline because of the procurement process and the 2009 board term which was extended to July 1, 2009. Mick reported that approximately 80-90 applications have been received by the NCO to date. MidWeek will be running an ad to publicize the February 20, 2009 deadline.
· A concern was whether there might be a violation of the NP which indicates an April election deadline, Chair Tanimoto indicated and Heinrich verified that there are provisions that the Commission has flexibility. Mobley noted that an extension of the candidate registration deadline is not being requested by the Commission, and that the Commission will be taking action on the actual election date at the February 23 meeting – of June versus April.
· Finley gave an online election presentation at the Waikiki NB No. 9 that was well received. The only concern was guaranteeing secrecy and confidentiality of their voting privilege. Bailey said that was the primary issue and a critical specification of the PIGroup that needed to be addressed. Tanimoto agreed that an FAQ can be worked on during this process.
· Smyth, a cryptology professional, said voting online is the most secure way to vote and paper ballots are the least secure way. His concern, however, follows after the electronic voting with having to certify the votes after June 15, 2009. He suggested that the Commission need to take action that changes the dates in the NP and to extend the board terms another 30 days from already 25 to a 26 month term.
· A question was raised as to why Neighborhood Boards Elections are not held with the State elections. Manke advised that she inquired with the State and noted there would be major differences with the boundaries which will cause much confusion.
2. Minute-Taking – Apisa distributed copies of an agenda template, noting the need for uniformity and consistency. The template was put together referencing the Plan, NCO policy and Roberts Rules of Oder (RRO). The agenda template notes that items listed that should include enough details and that because the Neighborhood Board System is a City funded program that all city agency reports are kept together.
With reference to minutes, it must be a true reflection, in summary of what happened and not a verbatim script. There are a number of references such as the NP and OIP that supports the need for a general overview. Apisa explained that she is not asking for any action tonight but to look at the proposals that the PIGroup has come up with and that consideration is given to the time that staff spends on completing a set of minutes. Perhaps this matter can come up for discussion at the next meeting.
Compliments were given to the committee for their hard work and efforts to standardizing agendas and minutes.
With reference to minutes, a true reflection can be overlooked when having to summarize the minutes and key issues are not reflected.
With reference to the agendas, it was noted that not all NBs are created the same in that many are unique. A suggestion was that since the chair is responsible for finalizing the agendas that they are given the flexibility and that the Commission should be open to comment and input from the boards. A situation is what to do when two NBs meet on the same night and both have the same Councilmember. There are options to take the agenda out of order or alternate between each board, but the purpose was to address the need for continuity and for NBs to try the option for a few months so see how it works. Should the Commission decide to launch this effort, the suggestion was to implement it at the beginning of the new term.
VII. COMMISSION BUSINESS:
A. Status of 2009 Neighborhood Board Elections – discussed earlier at length.
B. Appointment of Chief Elections Officer (2008 Neighborhood Plan §2-17-102) – Finley moved to appoint the Executive Secretary, Joan Manke, as the 2009 Chief Elections Officer; Mobley seconded the motion. The discussion favored to appoint the Executive Secretary to serve as the Chief Elections Officer. The motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto and Young.
Gall asked that the Commission send a letter to the members of City Council expressing strong support for the confirmation of Joan Manke, as the Executive Secretary to the Neighborhood Commission Office. The initial reading is January 28, then will be referred to the Executive Matters Committee on February 11.
Mobley moved to add to the agenda a letter of recommendation; Bailey seconded the motion. Hearing no discussion, the motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent, 9-0-0. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto and Young.
E. Letter of Recommendation for Joan Manke, Executive Secretary – Gall moved that the Commission Chair send a letter to each member of the City Council expressing strong support for the confirmation of Joan Manke, as the Executive Secretary to the Neighborhood Commission Office (if the vote is by unanimous consent that it be reflected in the letter); Bailey seconded the motion. Hearing no further discussion, the motion was ADOPTED unanimously. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto and Young. Manke departed the meeting at this time.
C. Policy regarding Cancellation of Neighborhood Board Meetings; Communication to Board Members and Rescheduling of Meetings – Due to the recent inclement weather on January 15, 2009, the NCO made a decision to cancel three scheduled neighborhood board meetings because of the safety concerns for the board members, staff and public. The NCO was asked to look and consider putting a policy in place to address these types of natural disaster events. Mick indicated that COR is looking into liability issues; and in events as such, a Press Release is the usual standard.
A brief discussion followed, noting that this policy should not be limited to only natural disaster events, but other circumstances, as power outages, etc.; and giving notice of the outcome. The key is communication and the best decision is to be prudent. More discussion to follow once staff is able to get more information.
D. Resolution for Filling of Neighborhood Board Sub-district Seats that Have Been Vacant Two Regular Meetings submitted by McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8 – Filling vacancies at the McCully-Mo’ili’ili NB has been an ongoing problem. The Manoa NB also shares these same problems unless a procedure is put in place, the problem will continue. The proposal is to allow NBs to fill the vacancies for a period of time not to exceed the ending of the 2009 term. The vacancy appointment by the board would be only for the remaining months.
Gall moved that the Neighborhood Commission, pursuant to the Rules and Procedures of the Neighborhood Commission Section 2-11 201(a), authorize the temporary suspension of Neighborhood Plan Sections 2-13-108 (a) (1) and 2-14-104 (a) for the period of January 27, 2009 to June 30, 2009 for the purpose of allowing neighborhood boards to fill subdistrict vacancies which have been unfilled for at least two regular board meetings with qualified residents of the neighborhood board district; Mobley seconded the motion. Apisa asked that consideration be given and that the motion be kept open ended, or until the end of the 2007-2009 board term. The amendment to the motion was accepted by Gall and Mobley.
Chair Tanimoto read the motion with the amendment: That the Neighborhood Commission, pursuant to the Rules and Procedures of the Neighborhood Commission Section 2-11 201(a), authorize the temporary suspension of Neighborhood Plan Sections 2-13-108 (a) (1) and 2-14-104 (a) for the period of January 27, 2009 to the end of the 2007-2009 board term for the purpose of allowing neighborhood boards to fill sub district vacancies which have been unfilled for at least two regular board meetings with qualified residents of the neighborhood board district. Chair Tanimoto noted that COR pointed out she would want time to review the matter and report back next month.
Discussion followed: 1) Heinrich questioned the concern of COR indicating that under the sections referenced, the Commission has the authority to suspend the Neighborhood Plan and with the limited period, it would be a good time to appoint those interested in filling the vacancies. Any further discussion of implementing a policy has a necessary step of the NC to review. 2) Mobley asked if the Commission could go ahead and approve it with the understanding that it is subject to legal review; and if not possible to do, it will not happen. 3) Lockwood added that the board would be looking at filling two seats that had been vacant from the beginning of the board term. The Commission was encouraged to come up with a finding before the agendas are due for filing.
Tanimoto said the Commission will likely go into Executive Session. He entertained addressing item 8, Commissioners Roundtable first; no objections followed.
VIII. COMMISSIONERS ROUNDTABLE: Chair Tanimoto added this topic to get ideas and suggestions for topics for future agenda items; those ideas/suggestions can be emailed to the Commission. Some topics suggested was looking at concurrent holding of a board member and Commission member seat; resume the NCO’s newsletter - Ho’ike Lono; reviewing all NB demographics since some NB areas have increased in populations, and planning for the next Conference of Chairs.
Executive Session was called at 8:58 p.m.; and reconvened at 9:16 p.m.; with eight members present.
The motion was amended to read: Gall moved that the Neighborhood Commission, pursuant to the Rules of Procedures of the Neighborhood Plan Section 2-14-104 (e) allow neighborhood boards to fill sub district vacancies which have been unfilled for at least two regular meetings with qualified residents of the neighborhood board district for a period from January 27, 2009 to the end of the 2009 term; seconded by Mobley. This motion would apply to all NBs with long standing vacancies, until the end of the 2009 board term. The motion was ADOPTED by unanimous consent, 9-0-0. Aye: Apisa, Bailey, Ching, Finley, Gall, Mobley, Nekota, Tanimoto and Young.
IX. ANNOUNCEMENTS: None.
X. ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 9:18 p.m.
Submitted by, Marie Richardson, Neighborhood Assistant
ATTACHMENT 1 – Correction to the November 24, 2008 Meeting Minutes
Page 2, item 7A, Commission Business, Elections Permitted Interaction Group recommendation regarding 2009 Neighborhood Board Elections – Online Voting with Proxy Phone Voting;
Brendan Bailey prepared a report of the PIGroup’s findings and recommendations based on the following three (3) options: a) mailed paper ballots; b) online voting; c) proxy voting by phone, and d) various combinations of the three.
The budget for the upcoming election is $185,000, a reduction of approximately $100,000 from the 2007 election. Bailey explained that it was City Council’s intent to encourage an online election only. The PIGroup’s preference was to proceed with Option B, which included mailed paper ballots to all contested races; in addition to online voting and direct mail post cards to uncontested races. Many boards have expressed the desire for paper ballots; however, the cost would be in excess of an additional $100,000. The PIGroup sent a letter to the Managing Director, Wayne Hashiro, requesting additional funding of $110,000. Mary Pat Waterhouse, Director of Budget and Fiscal Services, responded that funding would not be available due to the current economic conditions, and that any requests for additional funds in the current fiscal year must be submitted in March of 2009.
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