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NEIGHBORHOOD COMMISSION 

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

DRAFT REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2010

HONOLULU HALE, MAYOR'S CONFERENCE ROOM, 3RD FLOOR

530 SOUTH KING STREET, HONOLULU

 

 

CALL TO ORDER: Commission Chair Brendan Bailey called the meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

 

Members Present – Brendan Bailey, Bob Finley, Wilson Ho, Ron Mobley, Bob Stubbs, and Sylvia Young.

 

Members Absent – Sheila Apisa, Ed Gall, and Jeanette Nekota.

 

Guests/Staff – Bert Narita (Chair, Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Neighborhood Board No. 5); Tom Heinrich (1st Vice Chair, Manoa Neighborhood Board No. 7); Clifton Takamura (Member, McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8); Tom Smyth (Member, Downtown Neighborhood Board No. 13); James Pickard Sr. (Chair, Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21); Jon Chinen and Linda Ure (Members, Kailua Neighborhood Board No. 31); Elisabeth Contrades (Deputy Corporation Counsel); Rae Gee (Acting Executive Secretary, Neighborhood Commission Office [NCO]), Bryan Mick (Executive Assistant, NCO), Linnie Pascual (NCO), K. Russell Ho (NCO), Leland Ribac (NCO), Marie Richardson (NCO).

 

ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS: A roll call of Commissioners was administered with a quorum of six (6) members present (Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs and Young).

 

CITY MONTHLY REPORTS:

 

Acting Executive Secretary – No report at this time.  

Commission Chair – No report at this time.

 

PUBLIC CONCERNS:

·         A current challenge of the Neighborhood Commission, according to Section 14-103(b) of the Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu, is whether the Commission is serving as an advocate of the neighborhood board system.  Of importance for the Commission and the public to be aware of is what the Executive Branch's budget proposal so that the Commission can be an advocate in terms of the resources necessary to the Neighborhood Board System.

·         Request to have shared coordination between Neighborhood Board Chairs and the respective Neighborhood Assistant of the NCO to assist with informing the Chairs when a board member has accumulated three (3) absences and that it is also placed on the respective board's agenda to be considered for retention or removal.

·         In general, there are a number of potential amendments to the 2008 Neighborhood Plan that need attention by the Neighborhood Commission. One potential amendment included Section 2-11-104 (Chapter 11, Rules of the Neighborhood Commission) and Section 2-20-102 – Method of adoption, amendment, or repeal of rules (Chapter 20, Amendment of the Neighborhood Plan). In November 2006, both sections were presented together to the Corporation Counsel (COR); however as a result, the portions of the process were broken into two separate chapters.         

·         A concern was raised on previous Neighborhood Commission action taken regarding a Petition for Amendment of the Rules in Subtitle 2 (Neighborhood Commission) in accordance with Section 2-11-104 of the Rules and Procedures of the Neighborhood Commission submitted on July 6, 2009, which was withdrawn and resubmitted on August 31, 2009.  Subsequently on September 28, 2009, the petition was referred to the Neighborhood Plan Committee for its recommendation to the Commission. The petitioner noted that according to Section 2-11-104 (c), the Commission should have either denied, or started the process to amend the 2008 Neighborhood Plan.

·         A concerned citizen commented that the processing of complaints should not take years to address.  Please expedite the complaints process.    

·         Concern was raised regarding the cancellation of the March 15, 2010 Sanctions Hearing involving the Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34. Commission Chair Bailey noted that the meeting cancellation was not intended to further delay the hearing, but to ensure that all parties receive proper notice under Chapter 91 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes to make certain when action is taken at the hearing, no procedural issues are compromised.

Chair Bailey pointed out to the public audience and Commissioners that: "any information shared, while relevant to tonight's meeting, cannot be considered outside of the Sanctions Hearing process." 

·         A member of the public audience shared his professional experience dealing with disruptive individuals at neighborhood board meetings. Another suggestion was made for the Neighborhood Commission Office, Mayor's Office, or Honolulu Police Department to send a communication noting that if a Board Member's disruptive conduct is such that the Board Chair cannot control the situation, then a board motion can be adopted to expel the individual under the Neighborhood Plan.

·         There are two (2) bills pending in the State Legislature that would affect the neighborhood board system: 1) H.C.R 111 titled, "Related to the Legislature calling upon the City Council to review the neighborhood board system and Neighborhood Commission"; 2) S.B. 2617, S.D.1, "Related to Executive Sessions" is presently in the State House of Representatives for consideration.

  

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

 

Special Meeting – The Special Meeting minutes of January 6, 2010 was APPROVED as CIRCULATED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).

 

Regular Meeting – The Regular Meeting minutes of January 25, 2010 was deferred to the next meeting.

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Finley moved, and Young seconded, for the Commissioners to enter into Executive Session pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 92-4 & 92-5(a) (4) and (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 in relation to the review and approval of Executive Session minutes for January 6, 2010 and January 25, 2010.  MOTION PASSED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).     

 

Young moved, and Finley seconded, for the Commissioners to enter into Executive Session pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes Section 92-4 & 92-5(a) (4) and (8) for the purpose of consulting with the Neighborhood Commission's Legal Counsel on questions and issues pertaining to the Commission's powers, duties and privileges in relation to the: (1) assembly of the Conference of Chairs; and (2) formation of a Permitted Interaction Group or Committee to attend the Conference of Chairs.  MOTION PASSED by UNANIMOUS CONSENT, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).

 

For purposes of clarification for the public audience, Chair Bailey explained that upon return from the Executive Session, the Commission will move into discussion regarding the formation of Conference of Chairs Permitted Interaction Group (PI Group) or Committee.  

 

Executive Session convened at 7:50 p.m. and ended at 8:05 p.m., at which time agenda items continued.

 

COMMISSION BUSINESS:

 

Formation of a Conference of Chairs Permitted Interaction Group (PI Group) or Committee – The Commission contemplated whether to assemble the Conference of Chairs as a PI Group or a Committee.  The Commission received the following testimony from the public audience:

 

·     Background information was shared noting that a proposal in the November 2006 draft of the Neighborhood Plan had intended for the Executive Secretary of the NCO to convene the Conference of Chairs preferably twice a year. However, this proposal was not included in the final 2008 Neighborhood Plan. It was contemplated that by bringing the Board Chairs together to talk about common and uncommon issues builds a sense of camaraderie and awareness of the issues. Discussion at the 2008 Conference of Chairs regarded the direct attendance and participation of all the Commissioners to foster communication between the Neighborhood Chairs, Neighborhood Commission Office, and the Executive Secretary of the NCO. It was strongly recommended that a proposal to have the Conference of Chairs convened at the invitation of the Executive Secretary or the Managing Director be considered. 

·     A concern raised pointed out that if the Conference of Chairs is formed as a Committee, the open meeting may draw individuals other than the Board Members.  What is the penalty if more than two (2) Board members are in attendance and who would the Commission penalize?

·     It is important to recognize the educational perspective of the Conference of Chairs.  In 2003, the Hawaii State Association of Parliamentarians provided a half day of educational training at the Conference of Chairs.  A lot of the procedures could be handled with training. The skills of chairmanship are very important not dealing only with controversial issues, but how to manage dynamic changes and other issues that relate to Neighborhood Boards. The Commission could also provide guidance with agenda items and the placement of items on the agenda. It is important that the Neighborhood Boards feel that the Conference of Chairs is for the Board Members in order for them to take care of their community.

 

It was pointed out that the Commission's dilemma is that four (4) of the Commissioners are also Board Chairs.     It was clarified that the following applies to Neighborhood Boards whose Chairs are also Commissioners:

 

·         If a Commissioner is both a Board Chair and a PI Group member, his/her Board will be limited to only sending one representative.  If the Board sends two representatives in addition to the Commissioner, there will be a violation of the Sunshine Law because there will be three people attending a conference where the discussion will necessarily include topics that could be considered "Board Business". 

·         If a Commissioner is a Board Chair, but is not a PI Group member, his/her Board may send two representatives – a Vice-Chair and someone else.  The Commissioner may not attend on behalf of his/her Board.  If they do, that will be a Sunshine Law violation because a quorum of Commissioners will be attending a conference where the discussion will necessarily include topics that could be considered "Commission Business".

·         The Commissioners on the PI Group may function "only" as Commissioners and are not attending as representatives of their Boards.

 

Mobley moved, and Young seconded, to assemble the Conference of Chairs as a Permitted Interaction Group pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes 92-2.5(b) with the appointment of Commissioners Bailey, Young, Finley and Nekota as members of this Permitted Interaction Group, which was ADOPTED, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).

 

Rescheduling of Conference of Chairs – The Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) has requested that the Conference of Chairs be rescheduled from Saturday, April 10, 2010 to Saturday, June 26, 2010 due to the NCO budget process at hand and the compilation of survey results of the "Agenda and Minute-Taking Template Evaluation".  The survey will be sent to all Neighborhood Boards noting Friday, April 30, 2010 as the deadline to respond by.         

 

Discussion ensued on scheduling the meeting date to assemble the Conference of Chairs as well as suggestions for discussion topics for the meeting. It was the consensus of the Commission to reschedule the Conference of Chairs for Saturday, June 5, 2010 to be held at Kapolei Hale.

 

Finley moved, and Mobley seconded, to assemble the Conference of Chairs on Saturday, June 5, 2010, which was ADOPTED, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).   

 

Filling of vacant seat(s) on the Kalihi-Palama Neighborhood Board No. 15 pursuant to Section 2-14-104(e) of the 2008 Neighborhood Plan – Marie Richardson of the NCO provided the following update:  1) New member, Cy Feng, was appointed to Board No. 15; and 2) Member, Shane Yaw, has resigned from the Board No. 15.  No action was needed by the Commission regarding this agenda item.  

   

Recommendation to dismiss the complaint from Celeste Lacuesta (Complaint 0911-#23-18) filed on November 23, 2009 as the complaint does not meet the time requirements stated in Section 2-18-201(a)(3) of the 2008 Neighborhood Plan – Chair Bailey summarized Section 2-18-201(a)(3) of the 2008 Neighborhood Plan which states, "A board or board member, upon the filing of a complaint with the commission office on a form provided by the commission office within forty-five calendar days after the alleged violation(s)".  There was no one from the public audience wishing to provide testimony regarding this complaint.  It was the consensus of the Commission to dismiss Complaint 0911-#23-18 as the complainant did not file the complaint within forty-five calendar days after the alleged violation(s).

 

Young moved, and Stubbs seconded, to dismiss the complaint 0911-#23-18 (filed November 23, 2009) from Celeste Lacuesta without prejudice as the complaint does not meet the time requirements stated in Section 2-18-201(a)(3) of the 2008 Neighborhood Plan, which was ADOPTED, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).   

 

Recommendation to dismiss the complaint from Victoria S. Cannon (Complaint 1003-#34-04) filed on March 9, 2010 as the complaint does not meet the time requirements stated in Section 2-18-201(a)(3) of the 2008 Neighborhood Plan – Bryan Mick (NCO) clarified that the complainant did not specify the date of the meeting that the alleged violation(s) occurred, instead the complainant noted on the complaint form "every meeting that she has been to".  It is difficult for the NCO to determine whether the complaint was filed within forty-five calendar days after the alleged violation(s) occurred, when the complainant did not specify the date of the meeting the alleged violation occurred. 

 

It was clarified that the complainant will have the ability to re-file the complaint with the NCO upon the complainant specifying the date of the meeting that the alleged violation(s) occurred. A member of the public audience testified that the above clarification should also be clearly identified in the Commission's motion on this case. Hearing no other testimony from the public audience, it was the consensus of the Commission to dismiss Complaint 1003-#34-04 without prejudice and with the caveat that the complainant may re-file the complaint. 

 

Stubbs moved, and Young seconded, to dismiss Complaint 1003-#34-04 (filed March 9, 2010) from Victoria S. Cannon with the caveat that the complainant may re-file the complaint if the alleged violation(s) occurred within 45 days from the original filing date of the complaint as required by Section 2-18-201(a) (3), which was ADOPTED, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).   

 

Consideration of approval of the "Neighborhood Commission Evaluation of the Audit and Task Force Report Recommendations" and transmittal to the Managing Director and others – Commissioners Gall (lead person) and Mobley were members of the Neighborhood Board System Audit PI Group, with the assistance of Tom Heinrich, in drafting the final report dated May 18, 2009. 

 

Tom Heinrich disclosed that he was one of the main "wordsmiths" and scribes of the final work product and raised several points on the "Neighborhood Commission Evaluation of the Audit and Task Force Report Recommendations":

 

·         The Report is in the voice of the Commission (very careful attention was made to the language used).

  • The Report was considerably late when offered to the Commission in May 2009, but pertinent in terms of any consideration of actually "in the voice of the Commission" providing some response to the City Council, Mayor, Managing Director, etc.  
  • The Report's analysis and comments is primarily in response to the:

(1)     City's Auditor Report, City and County of Honolulu, August 2006

(2)     Neighborhood Board Task Force Report, December 2007, by the Honolulu City Council's Neighborhood Board Task Force.

  • Report can be used as a reference for discussion topics for the upcoming Conference of Chairs as well as for other venues.
  • Formal transmittal of the Report should be sent to the following individuals:

(1)     Mayor

(2)     Managing Director

(3)     Councilmembers of the City Council

(4)     Current City Auditor

(5)     Kathleen Pahinui (Former Chair, Neighborhood Board Task Force 2006-2007 of the Honolulu City Council)

·         The Report (dated May 18, 2009) can be accessed on the Neighborhood Commission Office website, www1.honolulu.gov/nco.

 

Commissioner Mobley commented that the Commission is obligated to the items referenced specifically in the report tasking the Neighborhood Commission and not the Neighborhood Commission Office. One of the items referenced noted the Commission will make inputs to the budget of the Neighborhood Commission Office, but the Commission has not been included in this task. In response to this, the "Neighborhood Board System Audit PI Group" could only agree that the Commission should be included.  Considerable time was spent in reviewing all the issues in great detail by the Neighborhood Board System Audit PI Group. 

 

Commissioner Mobley noted that at a previous July 27, 2009 Regular Commission meeting, the Commission passed a motion to accept input to the "Neighborhood Commission Evaluation of the Audit and Task Force Report Recommendations", published on the NCO website no later than the February 22, 2010 Neighborhood Commission meeting date.  It was pointed out that the Boards are not precluded from commenting independently on the report and that the Commission can take action on this agenda item.

 

Mobley moved, and Finley seconded, to approve the "Neighborhood Commission Evaluation of the Audit and Task Force Report Recommendations" as drafted for transmittal to the Mayor, Managing Director, Councilmembers of the Honolulu City Council, City Auditor, and Kathleen Pahinui, which was ADOPTED, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).   

 

Commissioner Young suggested the following amendment to the "Neighborhood Commission Evaluation of the Audit and Task Force Report Recommendations":  

 

Page 28 of 31 – Item No. TF-3.63 – Comments – last sentence – delete "The proviso was deleted by the Department of the Corporation Counsel (COR) without explanation".

 

Commissioner Young also commented that it is not necessary for this sentence to be noted in the report. 

 

Young moved, and Finley seconded, to approve the "Neighborhood Commission Evaluation of the Audit and Task Force Report Recommendations", with an amendment to delete the last sentence, "The proviso was deleted by COR without explanation" noted on Page 28 – Item No. TF-3.63 – Comments Section, which was ADOPTED, 6-0-0 (AYE: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Stubbs, Young).   

 

REPORTS:

 

Neighborhood Plan Committee of the Whole (NPC) – Chair Finley reported that he will extend the submission of additional neighborhood plan amendments for another two weeks.  Chair Finley will ask the NCO to schedule the second meeting of the Neighborhood Plan Committee of the Whole.   

 

Mobley recommended that the Commission revise the name of the "Neighborhood Plan Committee of the Whole" by deleting "of the whole" because in Robert's Rules of Order (RRO) Newly Revised—10th edition, which is the standard, a "committee of the whole" is a particular type of committee that you break into only during a meeting. By having it read this way, it gives the wrong impression of what kind of Committee it is.

 

Chair Bailey stated that this item will be added to the next meeting agenda for discussion and action.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

Next Regular Meeting – The Commission will meet on Monday, April 26, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Honolulu Hale, Council Committee Hearing Room – 2nd Floor.

 

Sanctions Hearing involving Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34 – The Commission will meet on Monday, April 5, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Kapolei Hale, Conference Room A – Ground Floor.

 

ADJOURNMENT:  The meeting adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

 

 

Submitted by:

Linnie Pascual, Neighborhood Assistant

 

 

Monday, July 26, 2010

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