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Neighborhood Commission




DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES                                                                       

MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2011



CALL TO ORDER:  Chair Brendan Bailey called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


Members Present Brendan Bailey, Bob Finley, Ed Gall, Ron Mobley, Jeanette Nekota, Robert Stubbs, Claire Tamamoto (arrived at 7:05 p.m.), and Sylvia Young.


Members Absent Wilson Kekoa Ho.


Guests/Staff Bert Narita (Chair, Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights NB No. 5), Charles Zahn (Member, Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale NB No. 34), Kaleo Gagne (Chair, Manoa NB No. 7), Lynne Matusow (Member, Downtown NB No. 13), Barbara C. Miller (Member, Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights NB No. 5), Steve Glanstein, Kamilla Chan (Deputy, Corporation Counsel), J. Thomas Heinrich (Acting Executive Secretary), Bryan Mick (Executive Assistant) and Marie Richardson (Neighborhood Commission Office staff).   


ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS A roll call of Commissioners established a quorum of seven (7) members.  




Chief Elections Officer Bryan Mick gave the following preliminary election updates:


  • Telephone Recording System Jim Manke was selected to do the voice recording of candidate names for the telephone recording system.


  • Election Dates The online elections are from May 2 through May 20, 2011. Walk-in voting sites include Honolulu Hale and Kapolei Hale, Mondays through Thursdays; No Fridays due to furlough.


  • Everyone Counts Presentation Karen Clakeley is in town for testing of the election systems before it goes online. Clakeley will also be available Monday or Tuesday, May 2 or 3, 2011 to give a presentation on the elections process, should there be an interest of people.


  • Election Mailer The 2011-13 election mailers with the voter pass codes will be mailed through Hagadone Printing this coming Thursday or Friday. There will also be a published ad in MidWeek going out to the public by Wednesday, May 4, 2011 to highlight the upcoming elections.


Commissioner Claire Tamamoto arrived at 7:05 p.m., during the above portion of the meeting; 7 members present. 


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


  1. Possible Media Release Acting ES Heinrich added that in a discussion with Managing Director Doug Chin, that there were several aspects relating to the neighborhood board election and doing some type of media release to highlight the NB elections. The MD was very interested in outreach in coordination with the Mayor's public relations staff. There is no schedule yet, but the interest was very strong.


  1. Sample Mailout Mick indicated that a sample of what was being mailed out was posted on the NCO website; and in response to Finley, having the neighborhood assistants take copies to the board meetings is a good idea.


Acting Executive Secretary Tom Heinrich gave the following updates and comments:


  • Confirmation Process The initial confirmation hearing was held Wednesday, April 20, 2011. There were nine individuals testifying in support, and two individuals in opposition. Heinrich intends to follow-up with a written note thanking all for their input. A second hearing is tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 2, 2011 at 1:00 p.m.; and a final hearing before the full City Council on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. If successfully completed, a letter of resignation will be submitted to the NCO and the Manoa NB, along with his withdrawal as a candidate from the Manoa NB for the 2011 2013 term.


  • Board Visitation Heinrich was invited and placed on the Aliamanu/Salt Lake/Foster Village NB No. 18 agenda for remarks and Councilmember Cachola also in attendance at this meeting expressed support of Heinrich's confirmation at that meeting. Heinrich also made an appearance at the Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights NB No. 5 for a few comments and remarks.  


  • Commission Meeting There is a commitment to meet one-on-one with every NB chair and Commission members. While still the Acting ES, Heinrich is interested in seeing how the Commission Chair and COR handles the agenda, and how the NCO staff responds to discussions of the Commission, concerning the correction of the minutes from the last meeting which have not been addressed at all.


  • Reporting and Protocol Issues There are problems of reporting and protocols relating to matters that did not pass through the ES that will be changed soon to ensure that any information that comes into and out of the NCO is accurate and at its best before distribution. Please note item 4D1, meeting minutes of the Executive Session on tonight's agenda had already been approved at a previous meeting.  


  • Credibility and Communication There two terms that have been heavily emphasized in Heinrich's one-on-one sessions with the Council members about the new approach in leading the NCO. In the effort to encourage these terms, a personal letter has been sent to all Chairs and Commissioners.


  • People Bridge Directors of the Department of Information Technology (DIT) initiated conversation with Dave Kozuki who operates People Bridge. Kozuki was invited to discuss a platform of programs that rely on social networking. It was suggested that the NCO might look at incorporating this technology.


  • Mission Memorial Annex (MMA) The question was posed to MD Chin, the possibility of the NCO moving to the Mission Memorial Annex; noting ADA (Americans for Disability Act) accessibility for the public and having more than one entrance/exit. MMA is a great location to be more publicly accessible for the NCO and the Mayor's Office on the Cultural and Arts. The Commissioners were invited to be strong advocates for this move; an alternate location is the Mission Memorial Library which is presently closed.


  • Complaint Hearings This afternoon, Heinrich met with COR Kamilla Chan and Mick on looking at ways to handle the complaints. The Commission completed in February 2011 is an amendment that allows the Commission to appoint one or more hearings officers. This should help to speed things up and take the burden off the Commission until such time the Commission is able to review the findings of fact, inclusions of law and recommendation for action.  


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


  1. NCO Website Nekota commented that the NCO website need to be more user friendly and easily accessible. Young indicated that people have commented that the information is not accurate and outdated and suggested removing the old NB pictures and names of board members that are no longer serving the on boards.


  1. Neighborhood Plan/Amendments Finley questioned the status of the Neighborhood Plan/amendments which were to be completed and posted on the website. Heinrich noted that COR recognized that the amendments needed to be collated into the Plan. Heinrich expressed his commitment to get hard copies published for the NB members once available.


  1. Commission Meeting Minutes Mobley stated that there are a number of agendas and regular meeting minutes and committee minutes missing from the website. The missing pieces make it difficult to do research or reference if these items are not available (Mobley cited dates where items are missing). Heinrich added that there are major archive issues, and background work to catch-up. Bailey apologized for missing the agenda item the approval of the Executive Session meeting minutes. The responsibility is ultimately the chairs but he had thought had been deferred from previous. Heinrich recommended listing on the agenda the committees to allow for brief reports, if there are any. 

Sanctions Hearings Chair Bailey previously submitted a request to get an opinion from COR whether or not the Commission had the authority to appoint a hearings officer and would it apply to the complaints that were filed in the former. Heinrich noted there is no answer yet, but that point had been raised today during Heinrich's meeting with COR.     




Guidebook Steve Glanstein raised awareness that this would be an ideal time since there are a number of Commissioners who are board members to collaborate and work on putting together a guidebook. With the timing of the upcoming installation of members would be a good target for making the guidebook available.


Koolauloa NB No. 28 Complaint Glanstein raised concern of complaint 0903-28-3 regarding to the Ko'olauloa NB No. 28 in that the NBs vote to support "Envision Laie" was made in violation of Chapter 92-3 and in the 2008 Neighborhood Plan that it is considered to be null and void. It seems that the Commission is taking a position to say that board action that was taken a year ago is now null and void. The concern is whether this was beyond the Commission's scope of authority. It was suggested to take a closer look with COR if possible.  


Verification of Address Matusow raised issue on why the NCO staff did not properly verify Carl Middleton's residency during a nine-week period, and she will continue to raise this concern every month until a satisfactory answer is given to those who have questioned the issue. This needs to be corrected so as not to happen again with any NB.     


Executive Session Matusow asked if the public will ever be able to see any minutes from past executive sessions. There have been as least 30 executive sessions in recent years and not a single set has been produced. The law states that once the purpose for the executive session meeting is over with, the minutes have to be released, and cannot believe it is still pending.


Chair Bailey replied that the Commission takes this matter very seriously, in that, each time the Commission entered into executive session has been for the sole purpose of consulting with legal counsel, and according to COR, that will never be waived. With regards to any action or decision, the Commission would have had to announce what decision had been taken. With regards to any opinions contained within the meeting minutes, those are not going to be released.


NCO Webpage Matusow suggested updating the staff picture; Hufana-Ablan's picture is still on the webpage. 


APPROVAL OF MINUTES:  Due to some of the comments made at the last meeting that had not been addressed relating to the meeting minutes, ES Heinrich would like to recommend deferring the Special Meeting Minutes of February 17, 2011; and the Regular Meeting Minutes of February 28 and March 28, 2011 to the May 23, 2011 Commission meeting. The Executive Session Meeting Minutes of the Special Meeting Executive Session: February 17, 2011 had already been addressed at a previous meeting.


The following comments were made:


  • Matusow February 17 meeting, Matusow was not present.  
  • Glanstein From a parliamentary perspective, Special Meetings do not usually approve minutes; the concept of a special meeting is to take care of business between regular meetings.  
  • Glanstein February 17 minutes, Page 4, the Commission convened Executive Session (ES) at 8:57 p.m., and does not give an explanation as to why ES was being convened; consider being specific. A suggestion was to package the minutes together all cleaned up for the next meeting.
  • Young March 28 minutes, Matusow's name is misspelled; Kamilla Chan is missing from Guests/Staff.
  • Page 3, Committee Formation, does this replace the budget committee or form a new committee? Mobley The motion made was to have the budget committee assist the NCO with the review of the finances and the budget. It was not to form a budget committee; there is already one.
  • Nekota Notes said that the budget committee would work with the NCO to send out a survey.
  • Young Questioned whether consolidating boards would decrease participation; Bailey indicated that that was what was indicated. Bailey agreed that the names of the testifiers be included with their testimony.
  • ES Heinrich Suggested that verification be made from notes of that meeting; and the same recommendation to defer approval of the minutes and incorporate those changes into the revised draft for the Commission.    
  • Matusow March 28, Tom Smyth was present and not listed in the Guests attendance. Page 2, Concerns of How the Neighborhood Commission Handles Business, was Chair Ron Lockwood; same page, Verification of Address, both Matusow and Smyth talk about that and neither were mentioned.  
  • Matusow Discussion relating to an Opinion Letter from the Office of Information Practice dated September 13, 2005, reflected no discussion in the minutes of March 28 which needs to be added. Pertinent for tonight, that the amendments must be either revised or amended version of the minutes or attaching an addendum to the original minutes.


Chair Bailey noted unless there are any objections, the Commission will defer the final approval of these minutes, giving the NCO time to make those revisions.




Petition to Dissolve the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board No. 28 The petition was signed with 101 names but after verification from the clerk's office, only 86 were valid registered voters. The minimum amount of signatures from registered voters is 100 in order to put a petition through. The board was informed of this requirement at their last meeting and hearing no complaints Mick believed the understanding was the petition would not go through.


Chair Bailey clarified that under 2-19-102, the trigger is the verification of the registered voters in the area. He believes there is no further action required by the Commission if those signatures are not verified.


Resolution Requesting the State Government Establish a Standard Educated Rate for Neighborhood Board Facility Rental Fees This was a continuation from the previous meeting. Mick noted that because the state participates in Neighborhood board meetings they are being encouraged through this resolution to assist the City and NCO by offering a reasonable rental fee for the facilities in which these meetings are held.


Heinrich has not made any revisions of the draft resolutions. Based on the extent of the discussion of the last meeting, it may be appropriate at this time for the Commission not to adopt this resolution but rather to work pragmatically with each board to find feasible options based on their relations and connections within their communities. Seventeen of 33 boards are not charged a monthly facility fee for their venue (the variety of venues include libraries, schools, churches etc.). Currently, the Plan allows NBs to meet outside of their board districts which may open the boards to facilities that could help with cost savings.


Comments from the Commissioners followed:


  1. Stubbs indicated that the Commission had previously requested from the NCO a listing of neighborhood boards, meeting locations, and fee costs to be compiled and available. That list has been compiled and Mick will email that information to the Commissioners. Stubbs favored not doing anything at this point. 


  1. Young mentioned seeing that list over a year ago, working with the previous ES to find ways to be fiscally prudent and she agreed to let it lie at this time.


  1. ES Heinrich brought up the issue that NCO faces a $17,000 budget reduction. Basically, the Budget Chair, Ernie Martin, gave NCO the amount of money that was actually spent in Fiscal Year 2011 and no flex room. It was stated that the boards will still be able to function relatively normally. So the big picture is that this $17,000 cut is not so bad.


  1. Nekota asked that other factors be considered when working with the board budget. Aside from facility rentals, the video recording and the amount of funds available for that service need to be assessed.


  1. Heinrich mentioned that in the past, the NCO has tried to limit the number of meetings to nine in order to monitor board spending. Another factor that should be kept in mind is good meeting conduct since the airtime designated from Olelo is only 2:58:30.




Comments from the Audience followed:


  1. When you send someone on staff to take minutes and then hire someone else to video tape or photograph, that is called "double dipping".


  1. Video recording is extremely important because there are members of the community who are unable to attend the meeting and rely on the recording to keep them informed.




  • Next Regular Meeting The next regular Commission meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday, May 23, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Honolulu Hale, City Council Committee Meeting Room.  


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


Submitted by,


Marie Richardson, Neighborhood Assistant



Reviewed by:


J. Thomas Heinrich, Executive Secretary

Last Reviewed: Monday, August 22, 2011