January 1991 Home   Newsletters

February 1991

March 1991

Charter Review and the Public (Jean Aoki)
Balance of Service (Marilyn Bornhorst)
Viewpoint (Arlene Ellis)
Women at the Peace Table (Ruth W. Iams)
Proposed Budget FY 1991-92
Ala Wai Community and Convention Center (Queen Emma Foundation)
Committee Nominates Slate of Directors for Honolulu League
Action Alert
Guide to Ethics in Municipal Government (W. Edwin Sumner)
Your Opinion Matters
Thank You (Anne Parton)
Membership Column



Several efforts to make a comprehensive long-range plan for Waikiki's future development are underway to stop the increasing unplanned overbuilding in the area which, if allowed to continue, could lead to its inevitable decline as a desirable visitor destination. Not only one, but two, monstrous convention center complexes threaten not only the planning and zoning regulations enacted to protect the area, but to doom it to insoluble traffic jams, destruction of open space, ever-increasing heights and densities, and increasing deterioration.

We urge the Council and the City administration to work together on these plans and to require the Aloha Motors project to comply with them before it achieves vested rights status. We call for the Council to enact a moratorium covering Waikiki and the Aloha Motors site until a long-range plan can be formulated, adopted and translated into Development Plan and zoning regulations.

Some developers and landowners complain that a building moratorium would cause a hardship because they have spent hundreds and thousands of dollars in plans for developments that may not be built if there is a change in zoning, densities, heights, etc. during the moratorium. If, in fact, the plans were made for a development that conformed to existing rules and regulations, the Courts have approved the payment for abortive expenditures - that money actually spent in good faith in planning a development that could not be built because of a change in the rules. Normally, there is no reimbursement for anticipated profits from an aborted development which is still in the planning stage and has not yet been started.


Chair Morgado and Councilman Felix are to be commended for recognizing the public's concern in ethics in government and taking steps to do something about conflicts of interest among Councilmembers that may influence the way they vote.

Morgado's resolution allowing a member to abstain from voting is a step in the right direction. However, many unanswered questions remain. Will there be a written record, open to the public, of the conflict of interest or other private reason that results in an abstention from voting? Who sets the standards and guidelines separating the frivolous from the significant conflict, without which a member may abstain from voting to avoid being accountable in controversial issues? Should this be the purview of the Ethics Commission? Where would the Ethics Commission fit into the picture, if at all? Will the acceptance of sizable campaign contributions and gifts be a determining factor in the declaration of conflicts? And, should the City Charter be amended to strengthen the ethical standards by which the Council conducts its business?

Arlene Ellis

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