Honolulu League's Annual Meeting Report (Robin Loomis)|
Vote Count (Arlene Ellis)
New Discussion Group Begins
Welcome New and Reinstated Members
Call to Council, 2004
HONOLULU LEAGUE'S ANNUAL MEETING REPORT
Close to forty Honolulu Leaguers enjoyed lively discussion and a satisfying lunch at the Annual Meeting in April at the Tree Tops Restaurant at Paradise Park. No new programs were adopted, but our continuing concerns will focus on Planning and Zoning, Transportation, and City Funding.
Lisa Carter and Eve Anderson have been actively lobbying for a "Death with Dignity" bill in the State Legislature that is patterned after Oregon's six-year-old bill. They distributed a one-page list of some of the most frequently asked questions: What is the Hawaii Death with Dignity Bill? Who does it apply to? Are there safeguards to prevent abuse? How many support the bill? They asked Honolulu League to request State League to study the issue. The membership unanimously approved the following: Honolulu League requests the State Council of the League of Women Voters in May to adopt a study to lead to concurrence on the Death with Dignity issue.
A new Board was elected with Jackie Parnell (President), Piilani Kaopuiki (Vice President), and Robin Loomis (Secretary). Malia Schwartz, whose term ends in 2005, will continue as Treasurer.
Directors elected for two years are Pearl Johnson and Susan Stahl. Directors elected to fill vacancies due to resignations during the last year are Charles Carole and Evangeline Funk. The 2005 Nominating Committee includes Betty Goodwin (Chair), Ursula Retherford, and Carol Taylor. President Jackie Parnell said that one of her main goals is to have 100 active members. She thanked outgoing President, Pearl Johnson, for her four years of dedicated and caring leadership.
Arlene Ellis who chairs the crucial committees of Voter Service and Vote Count, said that 25 Leaguers trained to become voter registrars; and she would be leading Roxie Berlin, Luree Hayes, and Piilani Kaopuiki to the "I Love Kailua Town Party" on Sunday to spend the day registering voters and talking about LWV. Hawaii Public Radio has asked League to assist with four live candidate forums during the drive-home hours. Each forum will last one-and-a-half hours and will air before the primary and general elections.
The business part of the meeting ended early and in the spirited discussion that followed, Evangeline Funk suggested that we start a brown bag lunch group to talk about issues once a month at a convenient location. This idea struck a chord and a committee was formed including Roxie Berlin who volunteered her house in Waikiki near Paki Hale for the first brown bag lunch meeting to be held on Thursday, April 29, at 10:30 a.m.
After lunch the membership was treated to a spirited three-way discussion on "Financing City Government: To tax or not to tax, that is the question" led by City Managing Director, Ben Lee, and City Budget Director, Ivan Lui-Kwan, followed by City Council Member, Charles Djou. Honolulu is financially in good shape and its credit rating is in the top 8% of over 15,000 cities. The City Administration does not plan to raise sewer fees and property taxes for individual residences and apartments, but is proposing to raise the rates for Commercial, Industrial, and Hotel property categories. Charles Djou is concerned with the escalating costs of running Honolulu, and he would like to implement debt and spending ceilings, eliminate services, reduce jobs, privatize some City services, and not fund all of the HGEA pay raises.
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