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Neighborhood Commission

                                                                                                                                                              

DRAFT REGULAR MEETING MINUTES

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2011

HONOLULU HALE, COUNCIL COMMITTEE ROOM, 2ND FLOOR

 

CALL TO ORDER: Chair Brendan Bailey called the meeting to order at 6:31 p.m.

 

Members Present Brendan Bailey, Bob Finley, Ed Gall, Wilson Ho, Ron Mobley, Jeanette Nekota, Robert Stubbs, and Claire Tamamoto (arrived at 6:38 p.m.).

 

Members Absent Sylvia Young.

 

Guests/Staff Maeda Timson (Chair), Charles Zahn and Michael Golojuch (Members, Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34) Mike Golojuch Jr., Roger Olegario (Member, Pearl City Neighborhood Board No. 21), Tom Heinrich (Member, Manoa Neighborhood Board No. 7), John Gollner (Member, Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23), Ron Lockwood (Chair, McCully-Mo'ili'ili Neighborhood No. 8), Greg Knudsen (Chair, Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board No. 1), Phil Lee (Office of Councilmember Tom Berg), Arvid Youngquist (Member, Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board No. 16) Bert Narita (Chair, Diamond Head/Kapahulu/St. Louis Heights Neighborhood Board No. 5), Elisabeth Contrades (Deputy, Corporation Counsel), Bryan Mick (Acting Executive Secretary), Theona Kapoi and Pilialoha Gaison (Neighborhood Commission Office staff).

 

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

 

UPDATES FROM THE NCO:

 

Elections Update As of today, 439 applicants have filed for candidacy which is up from 412 applicants from two years ago. There have been a few withdrawals and a candidate whom we are currently verifying that supposedly passed away. The NCO is very close to finalizing the list which should be available on Tuesday or Wednesday. It appears that the NCO is looking at 33 different ballots; however, that could change with the final listing. There is no board without a quorum and the numbers of races that are uncontested have not been computed just yet.

 

Commissioner Tamamoto arrived at 6:38 p.m., during the above portion of the meeting; eight (8) Commissioners present.

 

PUBLIC CONCERNS:

 

Lack of Communication There was comment that communication is lacking between the Neighborhood Commission Office, the Commission and the NB Chairs and members. The understanding was that many people were not sufficiently informed about the upcoming elections and its deadlines. It was asked that the process be re-evaluated and that the NCO look at ways to improve its communication efforts.

 

A member of the audience spoke about variations across the boards and how the response will be different from district to district. There was also a request that the Commission and Bryan Mick clarify that as of today all those looking to run for elected seats should have turned in candidate forms.

 

COMMISSION BUSINESS:

 

Appointment of Chief Elections Officer Chair Bailey explained that historically, the Executive Secretary has served as the Chief Elections Officer.

 

Finley moved to nominate Bryan Mick as the Elections Officer; Ho seconded the motion. The motion ADOPTED, 8-0-0 (Aye: Bailey, Finley, Gall, Ho, Mobley, Nekota, Stubbs, and Tamamoto).

 

Review of the Neighborhood Commission's Authority to Possibly Reopen the Candidate Registration Period This agenda item was requested by Commissioner Gall. Prior to the meeting, the Commission sought legal guidance from Corporation Counsel (COR). It was concluded by COR that the authority to extend this time-period was allowed under the Plan.

 

Discussion followed with comments from the public:

 

  1. A number of people voiced opinions against reopening the candidate deadline and thanked the Commissioners for voting to move forward with the elections. Testimony was also given that the whole process had been too confusing and chaotic to revisit an extension. It was mentioned that under certain circumstances, which should be specified by COR, for example, the in ability to solicit bids from vendors or a problem with the online software would there be more of a support to extending the deadline.

 

  1. A feeling of disservice was expressed when a former board member mentioned two individuals who were interested in serving their communities did not meet the deadlines because of miscommunication. Concern was expressed of procrastination on the Commission since the NC began speaking of the election back in the summer, but waited until now to get it done. Also, that the Chief Elections Officer should be named well in advance and that it should be someone other than the Executive Secretary.

 

  1. Another comment mentioned that all the changes with the new administration, especially within the NCO and the changes of executive secretaries could have played a major role in all the confusion.

 

  1. A concern from the audience mentioned rushing through things just to hold an election, and if there is to be an election, it should be done right with proper advertisement and reasonable deadlines.

 

  1. A disgruntled individual firmly stated his opinion about how the Commission has not made it a point to improve themselves or their situations; noting that working on marketing elections and promoting participation are extremely important but have not made it on past agendas.

 

Comments from the Commissioners:

 

  1. Mobley explained he had asked for status on the elections in January and again in February because he was still confused. But the board system works on shared responsibility, and that board chairs are the Mayor's liaison to the community and it is still their responsibility to read and know the Plan. The dates and time frames are mapped out in the plan, so there really is no excuse.

 

Appointment of Chief Monitoring Officer for the 2011 Election - Mick explained that this was inadvertently left off the agenda abut could be added with a 2/3's vote. Pi'ilani Kaopuiki has held this position in the past and would do so again if the Commission wishes to appoint her.

 

Finley moved to add this topic to the agenda; Nekota seconded the motion. Discussion followed with a comment from the audience upset that the Commission would even consider adding something to the agenda without following procedures and which the NBs are often reminded of; and recommended that the Commissioners vote this down and open it up to all those who are interested in serving. Although a timeline was not specified in the Plan, Mick recommended that the matter be considered as soon as possible. Since this was not a pressing issue at this moment, the matter will be deferred to a later date.

 

Commissioner Tamamoto left at 6:54 p.m. due to an emergency.

 

The motion was NOT ADOPTED, 7-0-0 (No: Bailey, Finley, Gall, Ho, Mobley, Nekota, and Stubbs).

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

  • Next Regular Commission Meeting Scheduled for Monday, March 28, 2011 at Honolulu Hale, Council Meeting Room, 2nd Floor at 7:00 p.m.

 

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 7:07 p.m.

 

Submitted by: Pilialoha Gaison, CSR III

 

Last Reviewed: Tuesday, March 29, 2011