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Neighborhood Commission

DRAFT REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING MINUTES

MONDAY, JANUARY 24, 2011

HONOLULU HALE, COUNCIL COMMITTEE ROOM, 2ND FLOOR

 

CALL TO ORDER: Chair Brendan Bailey called the meeting to order at 6:04 p.m.

 

Members Present – Brendan Bailey, Bob Finley, Ron Mobley, Jeanette Nekota, Wilson Kekoa Ho, Sylvia Young (arrived at 6:09 p.m.), Bob Stubbs (arrived at 6:11 p.m.), and Claire Tamamoto (arrived at 6:43 p.m.).

 

Members Absent – Ed Gall.

 

Guests/Staff –Tom Smyth and Lynne Matusow (Members, Downtown Neighborhood Board No. 13), Daisy Murai, Arvid Youngquist (Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board No. 16, Barbara Kahana, Charles Zahn and Evelyn Souza (Members, Makakilo Neighborhood Board No. 34), Celeste Lacuesta (Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23), Elisabeth Contrades (Deputy, Corporation Counsel), Baybee Hufana-Ablan (Acting Executive Secretary), Bryan Mick (Executive Assistant), Marie Richardson and Pilialoha Gaison (Neighborhood Commission Office staff).

 

ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS: A roll call of Commissioners established a quorum of five (5) members present.

 

CITY MONTHLY REPORTS:

 

Executive Secretary – Baybee Hufana-Ablan reported the following:

 

  • New Administration – Hufana-Ablan served a short time in 2005 as the Executive Secretary and under the Carlisle administration, was brought back in October 2010 to serve as the Acting Executive Secretary for an interim period ending January 31, 2011. This being her last meeting, effective January 31, 2011, Bryan Mick will be the new Acting ES.  

 

  • Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 – The budget has been reviewed by the Managing Director. As soon as it is approved by Mayor Carlisle, it will be sent to City Council for discussion and adoption. The proposed operating budget for the NCO is $877,345.00.

 

  • Savings Efforts – The NCO will continue to watch expenditures as the City is still facing a shortfall of about $100 million. In order to do so, NCO will reference the website and encourage the public to receive minutes and agendas by email rather than by mail. The NCO will also make a conscious effort to use city owned property to hold monthly board meetings to cut back on the facility rental fees.

 

  • Neighborhood Plan Amendments – Also a possible amendment to the plan proposes to extend board member terms from two (2) to four (4) years by postponing the elections of the neighborhood board members. If the election is postponed, the NCO will save $210,000 that was appropriated for this election.

 

Request for Review -

 

Makiki Neighborhood Board No. 10 – Agenda item of the November 18, 2010 meeting, - at the meeting, the Chair called the meeting to order and started on the agenda item 1 and 2, proceeded to item 4 and skipped item 3 Discussion/Action of 3 absences by Mr. Dave Bylsma. The board has to put this item back on their agenda and they have to vote not to declare the seat vacant and then will Mr. Byslma continue to serve the board. The board has to follow the process in section 2-14-106. Failure to comply is a violation of the Neighborhood Plan.

 

North Shore Neighborhood Board No. 27 – The agenda item of November 23, 2010 meeting - at the meeting, the Chair called the meeting to order and started on the agenda item 1 and 2, filling in district vacancies, one in Waialua and another in Mokuleia. Waialua was filled but the seat from Mokuleia was moved to defer and seconded. The motion passed unanimously. The NCO believes that the board violated section 2-14-104(a) Membership Vacancy. NCO made a request that the vacant seat be placed on the next agenda.

 

Downtown Neighborhood Board No. 13 – The concern is regarding Carlton Middleton’s residency. The NCO received numerous requests for review as provided in section 2-18-101, Request for Review, questioning whether, Mr. Middleton was in violation of section 2-14-107, Reporting Change of Residency, and section 2-14-108, Disqualification by Relocation.

 

Mr. Middleton violated section 2-14-107 by not reporting the change of address within 10 days of moving; however, on December 27, 2010 he filed his new address with the NCO. It was verified with the property owner and with the city clerk who verified that he had changed his address on file. Further review by the NCO determined that there was no evidence that Mr. Middleton was in violation of section 2-14-108. Therefore, the Commission determined that Mr. Middleton is a qualified member of the Downtown NB No. 13.

 

Commissioner Young arrived at 6:09 p.m. and Commissioner Stubbs arrived at 6:11 p.m., during the above portion of the meeting; seven (7) Commissioners are now present.

 

Questions, comments and concerns that followed:

 

  1. Lynne Matusow expressed that the NCO dropped the ball regarding Carlton Middleton. She stated that he was confronted at the December board meeting and he said he was still living at his address; but when she contacted his proprietor, the proprietor said he was not living there. Although the plan gives an individual 10 days to report, Middleton did not comply. There was a period of nine (9) weeks that was in question. Matusow noted that when the Commission was notified, the NCO indicated they would need to check. If Middleton was no longer in the district, the seat must be declared vacant and if he was out of the district, he could not reclaim his seat. Matusow filed a complaint and asked about its progress.

 

            Commissioner Bailey explained that the Commission reviewed the complaint but it is with the Mayor’s office             and NCO will need to follow up. It was asked at what point is a person deemed ineligible, and can that    person reclaim that seat. However, this is a situation that would need to be addressed by COR regarding       authority to declare a person ineligible. But those situations are usually accounted for in the plan.

 

Commission Chair – The Chair had no report.

 

PUBLIC CONCERNS:

 

Guidance on Notification of Meeting Cancellations: Barbara Kahana, former member of the Koolauloa NB, extended her congratulations to Bryan Mick soon to be the new Acting Executive Secretary. One concern regarded accessing special meeting minutes on the website and the inability to locate those documents; the manner in which the public was notified about the cancellation of their Board meeting was not adequately handled. The NCO is relied upon to give better guidance on handling these types of situations with better communication/notice at the meeting location for those who show up expecting a meeting.

 

Petition to Eliminate Koolauloa: Arvid Youngquist questioned the petition to eliminate the Koolauloa NB. Youngquist was unaware of the details and hated to see the board dissolved. The language in section 2-14-102c also questioned whether it applies to all NBs. Chair Bailey noted that the item is on the agenda and asked that these concerns be addressed at that point.

 

Process and Input Regarding Neighborhood Plan Amendments: Matusow complained about the Neighborhood Plan amendment and argued that information was not readily available nor were there proper notifications in the agendas of four boards whose chairs are currently on the Commission and upset that there was no mention on their agendas about the Neighborhood Plan amendments hearing.

 

Conflict of Interest: Daisy Murai extended congratulations to Bryan Mick on his appointment. She asked whether the Neighborhood Plan addresses any sort of conflict of interest such as a chair or member who works for a developing company who is contracted in the district. Her concern that the public needs a fair shake of what’s happening in their community. Chair Bailey clarified that there is a section in the Plan that does address conflicts of interest.

 

Effective Communication: Evelyn Souza agreed with Murai about the concern relating to conflicts of interest. She pointed out that the Commission did not get word out in a timely manner, many people were not informed and missed their chance on giving input at the public hearing; and that this was a disservice to the community. Chair Bailey noted that there were many opportunities for public testimony over the past few months prior to this last public hearing and encouraged signing up to receive copies of the Commission’s agendas and minutes. Souza was disappointed to hear about the possible board member term extension. It was expressed that the NCO should proceed with the election because monies have already been appropriated and consider extension of board terms after this election.

 

Election to Solicit Productive Members: Marissa Capelouto, a community member, expressed concern that members on the Makakilo NB lacks progress in the community. It was explained that the meetings run poorly and in order to grow, they need new members, which is why the elections are important right now. She spoke in opposition of the extension of board member terms.

 

Celeste Lacuesta, member of the Ewa NB, shared the same concerns are happening in Ewa where the board can never reach an agreement so the election is crucial. She too spoke in opposition of the extension of the board member terms and she looks forward to an election to rid the board of its dysfunctional members.

 

APPROVAL OF MINUTES:

 

Special Meeting Minutes of December 15, 2010 – Ho moved, Young seconded to approve the Special Meeting Minutes of December 15, 2010 as circulated. The motion was ADOPTED, 7-0-0 (Aye: Bailey, Finley, Mobley, Nekota, Ho, Young, Stubbs).

 

Commissioner Tamamoto arrived at 6:43 p.m. during the above portion of the meeting; eight (8) Commissioners present.

 

COMMISSION BUSINESS:

 

Petition to Dissolve the Koolauloa Neighborhood Board No. 28 – Mick explained that in order to dissolve the board, 100 voters from that district need to sign the petition. Right now, the vote stands at 98 people because 33 of those who responded have P.O. Box addresses; and therefore, without a physical address, it cannot be determined if those individuals actually live in the district. A letter was sent to the 33 individuals two weeks ago; and it was clarified that without the quota or the 100 signatures, a decision cannot be made either way.

 

Comments followed:

 

  1. Youngquist commented about the petition whether this change can be adopted or if a special meeting needs to be held in February; and if there is a special meeting, will the dissolution take place immediately. Chair Bailey responded that no immediate action would take place because there is still a need for public hearing in that district, and that no decision will be made until the 100 signature quota is met. The community will have a chance to weigh-in on what happens with this board; this is not just a decision of the Commission.

 

  1. Kahana asked for clarification on the number of signatures. The quota is 100, 128 responded but of those four (4) were outside of the district and 33 had  P.O. Box addresses that could not be determined as living in the district; leaving 98 verified voters which is under the quota.

 

  1. Lacuesta asked the reasoning for dissolving this board. and who was responsible for it? Mick explained that the petition was initiated by the community due to conflict of interest. Mick also explained that it would take either 5% of the registered voters or 100 signatures, which ever is less to initiate the process.

 

  1. Lacuesta also questioned the Ewa NB’s extension of their probation and felt that the board is trying hard and is being discriminated against.

 

  1. Souza spoke in defense of the boards that this sort of dysfunction is reason enough for an election.

 

Commissioner Mobley asked about the timeline for the signatures. A motion was entertained to defer until the next regular Commission meeting; however, it was agreed that not action was necessary at this time according to the rules.

Adoption of Proposed Amendments to the Neighborhood Plan – Chair Bailey opened the floor for testimony.

 

  • Souza questioned section 2-14-102C. She is concerned that once it is used, the amendment will no longer be useful. The language is not specific enough and does not imply that it needs to be used this year. Because the budget is already approved and it is too close to the anticipated election time, she would like to see that the elections are followed through.

 

  • Marissa Capelouto testified that as a voter, it is her right to vote. She was upset that she attended all the regular meetings and was unaware of the notice for the hearing to postpone elections.

 

  • Youngquist asked that the Commission challenge themselves on whether items are answered to satisfaction. He explained that he would be alright with extending the members terms after this election but because the budget is approved, he believes an election should take place. What are we saving it for? He also questioned section 2-14-103A about whether there was a need to change “acting chair” to “chair pro tem”. He suggested that in section 2-18-201B that it include the ES as one of the hearing officers. Youngquist was opposed to changing section 2-18-202D and asked for a clear definition of frivolous in section 2-18-203D.Souza was concerned about section 2-14-103A. She asked what would happen if more than one person wanted to be chair. Why wouldn’t most votes win? Mobley explained that only if an officer is not available, a pro tem will serve temporarily for the first meeting or till someone is selected.

 

  • Smyth said it is not about the gavel, it is who prepares the agenda. The pro tem doesn’t prepare agendas, he conducts the meeting. His concern with the whole process was that the first hearing was held on the same day of his meeting. Smyth expressed that the purpose of change was not as important as the wording. He was bothered that many boards were on recess in December and January and were not able to testify. He requested for a second hearing but was told NCO was in a hurry because of the elections. Smyth feels like the communication was poor.

 

  • Matusow wants NCO to hold an election because there is money allocated for it. Her concern was regarding section 2-14-109 and 2-14-111. Matusow wants to keep the agendas consistent with the agenda filing in the state by requiring six days prior to meeting. She does not believe it is fair for NCO to ask for acceptable electronic format of agendas.

 

  • Kahana voiced that section 2-14-101C was unnecessary and that in regards to section 2-14-101D, 60 days was not reasonable.

 

Comments from the Commissioners followed:

 

  1. Finley explained that the committee made every attempt to bring these proposed amendments to public attention, and have accepted constructive criticism. He would like to stand by these propositions.

 

  1. Nekota clarified that initially, a PIGroup initiated the first revision and the PIGroup was allowed only four Commissioners to attend and give input. Therefore, it has changed to a full Committee to allow all Commissioners a say along with the public.

 

  1. Mobley addressed the major concern of extending the board terms by breaking down the language. The proposed amendment used the word may not shall. Shall indicate that it is required and may means it could be necessary.

 

Commissioner Bailey noted there being an issue and may need input from COR regarding this section of the Plan.

 

Finley moved to have an executive session and Young seconded; to meet with the Commission’s Deputy Counsel on unanticipated issues. The motion was ADOPTED, 8-0-0 (Aye: Bailey, Finley, Ho, Mobley, Nekota, Young, Stubbs).

 

Commission went into Executive Session at 7:24 p.m.; and reconvened the regular meeting at 7:32 pm.; eight (8) Commissioners present.

 

Further discussion by the Commission ensued: There was some agreement that perhaps there was not adequate time for the public to respond due to timing when many of the NBs were in recess. However, a strong sense by the Committee Chair would like to follow the advice of COR and the NCO and not let this drag on. Chair Bailey was open to suggestions. It was noted that the NCO was instructed to correspond with board chairs that the Commission would be soliciting input and feedback from the NBs.

 

Tamamoto moved to defer adoptions to the neighborhood Plan until the next regular Commission meeting in March; Mobley seconded the motion. Discussion followed focusing on whether this action tonight requires another public hearing to follow. It was confirmed that COR would require a public hearing.

 

Comments from the audience expressed that ample time for NBs to agenda this matter is necessary and will difficult; and that there is a need for having a detailed version of the public hearing notice for people are to make decisions about complex changes/amendments. The Commission was thanked for reconsidering this matter and ensuring that NBs weigh-in and take action.    

 

More comment followed: Commissioner Stubbs apologized that some were not informed but felt that the Commission has done their duty and should proceed forward.

 

Chair Bailey reiterated the standing motion TO DEFER adoption of the Proposed Amendments to the Neighborhood Plan until the next Regular Commission Meeting in March. The motion WAS NOT ADOPTED, 3-5-0 (Aye: Ho, Mobley and Tamamoto NO: Bailey, Finley, Nekota, Stubbs and Young).

 

Finley moved to Adopt the Amendments, Young seconded the motion. The motion was ADOPTED, 6-1-1 (Aye: Bailey, Finley, Nekota, Stubbs and Young. NO: Tamamoto. Abstain:  Mobley.).

 

Olelo TV Broadcast Schedule: NBs were very upset about the showing of their meetings on Olelo. NCO is awaiting Olelo to get back and provide a schedule and explanation. In response to the inquiry about whose responsible with changing the broadcast schedule, Hufana-Ablan replied that Olelo Broadcasting is responsible.

 

Possible Special Meeting in February – There was discussion of a special meeting to discuss the extension of the board terms along with the Ewa NB. The special meeting would be to discuss; the extension of the board terms and the Ewa NB probation extension period. Finley stated that with recent changes in the NCO, the result maybe different; but Bryan Mick promised to make the website efficient, accurate and user friendly.

 

REPORTS:

 

Training Committee- The committee is working on providing the training online to make it easy and accessible to the board and the public. The DVD was given to Bryan Mick.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 

  • Please remind staff to make adjustments to template of agenda and time stamp?
  • Next Regular Commission Meeting – Scheduled for Monday, February 28, 2010 at Honolulu Hale, Council Meeting Room, 2nd Floor at 7:00 p.m.

 

ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 8:01p.m.

 

 

Submitted by: Pilialoha Gaison, CSR III

 

 

Last Reviewed: Wednesday, March 23, 2011