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Neighborhood Commission


MONDAY, APRIL 23, 2012   



CALL TO ORDER: Chair Sylvia Young called the Regular Neighborhood Commission meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. with a quorum of eight (8) Commissioners present. Note – This is a nine (9) member Commission and requires five (5) members to establish quorum and take official Commission action.


Commission Members Present – Bob Finely, Ed Gall, Loryn Guiffre, Kekoa Ho, Jeanette Nekota, Kathleen Pahinui, Bob Stubbs, Claire Tamamoto (arrived at 7:05 p.m.) and Sylvia Young.


Commission Members Absent – None.


Guests – Charles Zahn (Member Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34); Ariel De Jesus (Member Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23); Tom Smyth (Member Downtown Neighborhood Board No. 13); Teddy Biesecker (Member Aiea Neighborhood Board No. 20); Ron Lockwood (Member McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8); Kamilla Chan (Deputy, City Corporation Counsel); J. Thomas Heinrich (Executive Secretary); Bryan Mick, Marie Richardson, Aisha Wang, Leland Ribac, and Theona Kapoi (Neighborhood Commission Office). *All board members are speaking in their individual capacity and not as a representative of the Board unless otherwise indicated* 


ROLL CALL OF COMMISSIONERS: A roll call of members established a quorum of eight (8) Commissioners present.


PUBLIC INPUT: There was no public input to address at this time.


APPROVAL OF MINUTES: The approval of minutes is pending review by Executive Secretary (ES) Heinrich. It was noted that the minutes will be available for approval at the June 25, 2012 Regular Commission Meeting. The minutes will be forth coming in a packet along with the Neighborhood Commission (NC) Committee’s meetings minutes.


Commissioner Tamamoto arrived at 7:05 p.m.; quorum of nine (9) Commissioners present.




Neighborhood Plan (NP) Committee – Committee Chair Finely noted the first meeting of NP Committee was on March 21, 2012 in the Mayor’s Conference Room. Committee Chair Finely thanked the Committee members, staff members, and interested persons that attended the meeting.


The NP Committee carefully considered all verbal and written testimony and is considering nine possible changes to the 2008 NP. The following subsections to the NP were voted off the list of proposed changes: 2-14-104 Membership vacancy; 2-14-111 Meeting notice and agenda; 2-16-224 Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board No. 24; and 2-17-204 Candidate eligibility and registration.


The Neighborhood Commission Office (NCO) is working on language for the sanctions process. The current language has never been tested and the committee recognizes the need for the NCO to act as a “first step” in the sanctions process. The City Department of Corporation Counsel (COR) is also looking at the language on several of the proposed changes to comply with legal requirements.


Committee Chair Finley was not comfortable with only two members on the Committee and requested that ex officio member Commissioner Young be appointed as a voting member of the NP Committee. The Committees future plans include a NP Committee meeting on May 23rd, the draft product to the full Commission on the June 25th meeting, Public Hearing on July 21st, and final approval at the August 27th full Commission meeting.

Committee Chair Finley noted the following subsections to the NP which are being considered for changes: 2-13-104 Standards of conduct; 2-18-101 Complaints; 2-11-303 Meetings; 2-14-109 Meetings; 2-14-123 Duties of officers; 2-14-107 Reporting change of residency; 2-14-108 Disqualification by relocation; 2-14-106 Absences and removal process; resignation; 2-14-102 Board term; 2-13-108 Membership; 2-14-117 Order and decorum;


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       Neighborhood Board (NB) Chairs – Mick noted that he will send the revised proposed changes to the NP to each NB Chair for review and comment by the Board.

2.       Comment – ES Heinrich commented that there is a lot of research going on with the proposed changes to the NP. It was also commented that everyone should take a good look at the NP and submit any ideas to make it better.

3.       Proposed Changes – Lockwood, McCully/Moiliili Neighborhood Board No. 8 member requested that the revised proposed changes to the NP be sent to all Board Members and posted on the NCO website since the timeline for changes to the NP happen during a possible change in leadership for the NB’s.


Finance Committee – Committee Chair Tamamoto noted that there is no report since the last Finance Committee meeting. It was reminded that the Committee has a suggestion to mandate fewer meetings for budgets sake, and that there needs to be some control of rent and video recording services.


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       Comment – ES Heinrich commented that the NP sets a minimum standard of nine meetings per year for NB meetings; however the Board’s are allocated a budget that can accommodate 10 regular meetings for field services and so far the budget has been able to handle it.

2.       Survey – Committee Chair Tamamoto commented that a survey will be conducted to involve the NB’s in the budget process.

3.       Next Meeting – Committee Chair Tamamoto will follow up with the Finance Committee members regarding scheduling the next Finance Committee meeting.


Elections Committee – Committee Chair Nekota thanked Mick for getting the numbers requested by the Elections Committee. Committee Chair Nekota gave the following timeline for the 2013 Neighborhood Board Election:




March 24, 2012

First Election Committee Meeting

April 23, 2012

Commission Action – Commission to approve an all digital election

June 12, 2012

City Council Budget Complete

July 2012

Request For Proposal (RFP) sent out to select vendors

December 2012 - January 2013

Candidate registration online

February 2013

Candidate registration due on the 3rd Friday of the Month

April 2013

Voting period begins on the 4th Friday of the Month

May 2013

Voting period ends on the 3rd Friday of the Month

June 2012

Results are released on the 1st business day of the Month


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       Clarification – It was clarified that registration for candidates will be online through the selected vendor’s website.

2.       Commission Action – Mick noted that it was not necessary at this point for the NC to authorize an all digital election. Should the NC decide for an all digital election, it would be better to do so at the June 2012 Regular Commission Meeting after the City’s Budget process is complete.




Neighborhood Plan Committee MembersFinley moved, Guiffre seconded that Commissioner Sylvia Young change her status on the Neighborhood Plan Committee from Ex Officio to Member and be included in the Committee quorum. Discussion followed:


·         Gall questioned if it would be possible for other Commission members to sit on two committees.

·         Pahinui wanted to know what Roberts Rules of Order says about this situation.

·         Heinrich noted that it is ultimately up to the Commission to decide who will sit on each committee.

·         Pahinui noted that it doesn’t seem to be a problem.

·         Zahn, Makakilo/Kapolei/Honokai Hale Neighborhood Board No. 34 member gave other suggestions based on Roberts Rules of Order that would allow Commissioner Young to remain as an Ex Officio member of the NP Committee as well as being able to vote.

·         Finley noted that he would like the membership to be clear and recommend Commissioner Young be a member of the NP Committee.


The motion was ADPOTED UNANIMOUSLY, 9-0-0 (AYE: Finely, Gall, Guiffre, Ho, Nekota, Pahinui, Stubbs, Tamamoto and Young; NO: None; ABSTAIN: None).


Status of Pending Complaints Update – ES Heinrich noted that ultimately draft letters to be forwarded to complainants stop with him. It was noted that a number of complaints have been addressed to the Neighborhood Commission Office informally. Being that various complaints have been received informally, Mick and ES Heinrich have been able to follow up with concerns and give verbal and written advice which has been well received. ES Heinrich referenced the possibility of having a role similar to the “NFL Commissioner” which the complaints would first have to be resolved by the NCO with an appeals mechanism to the full NC in place should either party not agree with the NCO’s decision..


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       Executive Session – Commissioner Gall questioned if anything came about regarding the release of Executive Session minutes. Commissioner Young noted that the minutes were never released due to attorney-client privileges and further recommendation from COR not to release them.

2.       Processing Complaints –ES Heinrich noted that the NC charged him with addressing complaints and state that two complaints regarding the Ewa Neighborhood Board are forthcoming and will be included in the June 25, 2012 regular Commission meeting. Commissioner Pahinui expressed concern with how long the Commission will have to wait before anything is addressed with the complaints. It seems that the longer the complaint sits the less effect a sanction or solution would become. Commissioner Pahinui and Tamamoto agreed and requested that specific deadlines are necessary.

3.       Hearing Officers – Commissioner Gall requested to know the status of the volunteer Hearing Officers. Commissioner Young noted that they requested to know their duties prior to being appointed and the duties have yet to be completed. 


Neighborhood Board Conduct and Parliamentary Issues Update – ES Heinrich noted that inappropriate matters have been referenced in several Board meeting agendas and minutes. The Nanakuli NB had an issue related to a State Elected Official, the Board however after advisement by the NCO did not address the agenda item as it is out of the scope of the Board’s duties. The nature of the remarks made by an individual was personal in nature and the person had opened themselves to personal liability.


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       Behavior – Commissioner Tamamoto commented that if the complaint is not addressed, members will continue to misbehave because it seems as if nothing will happen to them.

2.       Automatic Dismissal – Commissioner Pahinui noted that if a Board Member crosses the line automatic dismissal from the Board should be considered. It may be something the Neighborhood Plan Committee can look into.

3.       Previous Complaints – Commissioner Nekota noted that something should be able to be done now because before the 2008 plan, the only thing that happened was a letter was sent to the board saying what they did was wrong and that was it.


Neighborhood System Evaluation Activities by the Neighborhood Commission – Commissioner Finley gave his report of the Makiki NB meeting that he attended. It was noted that the Chair kept the meeting under order and the Board knew a lot about their community. Commissioner Finley noted he would give the Board “passing colors” if it were graded. It was noted that some of Roberts Rules of Order was not followed to the “T” but the Board worked well together. Commissioner Gall commented that Neighborhood Boards need “strong chairs” to run a meeting properly.


Commissioner Guiffre gave her report of the Manoa NB meeting the she attended. Chair Young first noted that she went with Commissioner Guiffre to the Manoa NB to show her what a strong board does. Commissioner Guiffre noted that she was disappointed with what she observed. It was noted that the Board only had six members in attendance, which they did not have a quorum and there are five vacancies on the 17 seat Board. It was also noted that the Second Vice-Chair seemed to run the meeting, the neighborhood assistant did not sit with the Board, and that the Board spent much of there time dealing with matters outside of their district.


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       Commission Presence – Ribac thanked the Commission for taking the necessary steps to evaluate the Neighborhood Boards. Ribac commented that the Commission’s presence may be better utilized at Leeward Neighborhood Board meetings.

2.       Commission Board Visitation Scheduling – Commissioner Pahinui noted that the Commissioners will attend the meetings strictly for observation purposes only. De Jesus, Ewa Neighborhood Board No. 23 member, recommended not giving the Board a “heads up” prior to attending the meeting as that might cause members to not behave in their normal fashion.. Commissioner Tamamoto noted that she would prefer a “heads up.” The following Commissioners will attend Neighborhood Board meetings in May:



Neighborhood Board Meeting & Date


Waipahu, May 24th


Ewa, May 10th; Nanakuli, May 15th; Makakilo, May 23rd


Ewa, May 10th


Waianae, May 1, 2012


Proposed Neighborhood Commission Office Budget Update – ES Heinrich noted that the full City Council will meet on Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. and hold the second reading for budgets at Kapolei Hale. The NCO has an interest in Bill 14 relating to the Operating Budget. The NCO is looking at a proposed budget cut of $45,000 which mainly reduces the budget available for Neighborhood Board meeting facilities and office supplies.


Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       City Facilities – Commissioner Nekota noted that Mililani Mauka does not have a City facility within their district  although the NP allows for boards to meet outside their district.

2.       Facility Rentals – ES Heinrich noted that 18 Boards have working relationships within their community and are able to meet in City facilities or in schools at no cost.


Tamamoto moved, Nekota seconded that the Neighborhood Commission send a letter to the City Council requesting the restoration of the operating funds for the NCO, specifically for the board meeting facilities. Discussion followed:

·         ES Heinrich noted that it would be best to send the letter pending the hearing on April 25, 2012.

·         Tamamoto would like to see a list of current facilities used by the NB’s and their rental fees.

·         Young noted that this would affect board allocations in July 2012.

·         Finely agreed with a general letter being sent after the April 25, 2012 meeting, if necessary.


The motion was ADPOTED UNANIMOUSLY, 9-0-0 (AYE: Finely, Gall, Guiffre, Ho, Nekota, Pahinui, Stubbs, Tamamoto and Young; NO: None; ABSTAIN: None).


2013 Neighborhood System Elections – Mick distribute the following table highlighting that these were the various options to weigh when using online voting and paper ballot voting methods.




150,000 VR

150,000 VR


300,000 VR

300,000 VR











































































Return Postage (est)































Mailed out













All Mail










4,000 Online

75,000 inactive voters were included









All Digital










All Digital
















With inactive











Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


Return Postage – Commissioner Tamamoto questioned if there would be a difference if the returned postage was not included and residents returned the ballot themselves. Commissioner Young noted that postage is required when doing mail out ballots. It was commented to return to paper ballots.

Request For Proposal (RFP) – Commissioner Nekota requested that the RFP be included on the June Commission agenda for action.


Neighborhood Commission Calendar Planning – ES Heinrich will provide the NC a fiscal year 2013 calendar for future planning events. It would be best to set the Regular Commission meetings as well as have an idea of when committees may possibly hold meetings.




Update on the Relocation of NCO – ES Heinrich noted that there is a lack of communication coming from the City Department of Design and Construction regarding the ability to move the remaining NCO staff to the Mission Memorial Building. It was commented that it is difficult to work in a divided office setting.


Implementation of Bill 58 (2011) Update – ES Heinrich noted that this is on the agenda as a housekeeping measure. Mick is keeping track of the self-certifications submitted to the NCO. It was reminded that the Sunshine Law training and self certification is online and available to all.


Proposed Sunshine Law Amendments Update – ES Heinrich noted that attention should be directed toward House Bill (HB) 2404 and the proposed Committee Draft (CD) 1. The CD1 proposes electronic posting of agendas and minutes which would affect the State counties respectively. It was suggested that it be tried at a State level first with accordance to Hawaii Revised Statues (HRS) 92.


Information Technology Initiative Update – ES Heinrich made reference to an article in the April 2012 Honolulu Magazine called “iPhone Apps for a Better Honolulu”. The first paragraph of the article reads: “Have you ever been to a Neighborhood Board meeting?” Sheba Najimi of Code for America asks. “They’re painful! They’re nothing but complaints. People can take more ownership of these problems and get them solved faster.”


ES Heinrich noted that the City has been working on various smart phone applications so residents may assist the City by reporting problems via a smart phone.


NCO Video Recording Program – ES Heinrich wanted to highlight that the City Department of Budget and Fiscal Services (BFS) is moving forward with getting the request for bids out noting many conditions that will be required of the videographer vendors. The bidders may have a renewable contract for up to four years depending on the evaluation received. There will also be distinction between private vendors and public high school vendors. ES Heinrich noted that there were two vendors that have submitted bids to BFS.





Questions, comments, and concerns followed:


1.       Olelo Community Television – Commissioner Finely noted that there continues to be an ongoing frustration with the inconsistency of the set times and channels for video recorded NB meetings. ES Heinrich and Mick will try to coordinate with Olelo to get a more consistent schedule.

2.       Olelo On Demand – Zahn also noted some problems with Olelo on Demand via Olelo’s website.


Establishment of the Neighborhood Board System’s 40th Anniversary – Further research will have to be completed as it is known that the Neighborhood System was placed on the 1972 General Election Ballot to amend the Charter and include the System. There should be activities to mark the 40th Anniversary of the System.




Regular Neighborhood Commission Meeting – The Neighborhood Commission’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 25, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the City Council Committee Meeting Room, Honolulu, Hale, Room 205, 530 South King Street. The Commission’s regular meetings are scheduled for the fourth Monday of each month, unless otherwise noticed.


ADJOURNMENT: The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.


Submitted by Theona Kapoi, Neighborhood Commission Office


Reviewed by Bryan Mick, Neighborhood Commission Office


Reviewed by J. Thomas Heinrich, Executive Secretary, Neighborhood Commission Office


Last Reviewed: Tuesday, July 24, 2012