April 1984 Home   Newsletters

May-June 1984

July-August 1984

New Attitude toward Planning? (Astrid Monson)
President's Message (Dorothy Lum)
New Executive Board Takes Office
Third Phase Added to National Security Study (Dottie Gullicksen)
Convention Highlights
Join the Action - Voter Service
Launching a New Study
Available for Purchase
National Conference on Women, the Economy and Public Policy
New 'Voter' Editor Announced
Improvements Suggested for Neighborhood Boards (Jean Aoki)
Comparable Worth
Membership Update
Wanted -- Urgent! 30 Vote Counters

Improvements Suggested for Neighborhood Boards

With some much needed improvements, the neighborhood boards system can serve as an effective instrument for increased citizen participation in the governmental process This seemed to be the general consensus of the panel members who explored the effectiveness of neighborhood boards at the Honolulu League's Annual meeting in April.

Jack Denton, past chair and present member of the Waikiki Neighborhood Board, sees a difference in the functions of neighborhood boards and community associations.

Constraints, he says, are placed justifiably on these neighborhood boards. Board members are not the community activists fighting the system, but are now part of the system. He sees nothing wrong with the often-heard criticism that NBs serve as springboards to higher political office. As a member of the board, one learns how government works and becomes familiar with the current issues.

Denton discussed some of the more obvious improvements he feels are needed such as -- more participation by other citizens within the community-- more interaction with community associations-- more professionalization of products, i.e., minutes, position papers, etc.-- voting in NB elections restricted to registered voters only-- tying in of NB elections to regular elections.

Dr. Ted Becker, political science professor at University of Hawaii suggests we should think more creatively in working toward the increase of citizen involvement. We should use modern technology to reach the citizens. He also recommends that when a community meeting is held with political office holders as speakers on issues, the audience be allowed to vote on these issues to give the speaker an indication of the community's thoughts. He implied there should be much more boards to surmount such obstacles as the NIMBY (Not in my backyard) syndrome which has blocked the progress of such projects as halfway houses and the burnings of solid waste for fuel, etc.

John Parish, executive secretary of the Neighborhood Commission, started the discussion by giving us back-ground information on how the commission was set up, its makeup, and its function.

Arlene Woo, outgoing president of Honolulu League, served as moderator.

Jean Aoki

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