LEAGUE OF WOMEN
VOTERS OF KAUAI
The League of Women Voters of Kauai was founded in 1969 by Winona Sears and Althea McCleery. It is currently "reorganizing"... If you have interest in helping to revitalize the Kauai Leauge, please call the League office, 808-531-7448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rhea Palma and Althea McCleery are heading up the historical archive study for the LWV Kauai Chapter.
Three past presidents of the LWV Kauai County Chapter: (LtoR) Althea McCleery, Carol Bain and Susan Wilson.
General meeting of the LWV Kauai County Chapter held 11/15/08 at the Kapa'a Library meeting room.
|Ka Leo Hana - April 2008
Kauai Report - April 2008
I realize I have not contacted State League since last January. After
speaking with my co-president, Lisa Ellen Smith, we are agreed that our
current board is not able to fully meet its administrative commitments and duties as bylaws define.
A slate of officers for 2008 has not been found to date, and it is almost April, so no mailing has gone out. The last newsletter did announce our need for a slate, but none have responded and the Nominating Committee has not done the outreach as of today.
Several directors, including myself, have work and other commitments that take priority over League tasks. No program or budget has been defined and the board members do not have time to work on these tasks.
We have decided to hold a General Membership meeting April 26 and will send a letter to our Kauai members inviting them to come. Members will be apprised of our situation and we will see what they decide.
I spoke recently to Sue Irvine about our chapter's difficulties. Unless
new blood arrives soon, the chapter may be too anemic to continue and
may go into hiatus (if there is such a thing).
LWV Kauai chapter Co-President
Sat, Apr. 21 1:00 pm Free Public Forum
DC Voting Rights Jeanette Senecal, Kat Brady
Aloha Beach Hotel Kaua'i Details Here!
Nov. 2006 Report
Kauai LWV annual report and 2006 Election Season voter outreach efforts included:
• Voter registration activity was ongoing but not limited to: July 4, (Kauai Hospice event), July 28 & August 4, Kukui Grove Shopping Center, 5 to 8:30 pm. Linda Harmon, Voter Ed Chair, was a good coordinator of these activities. On June 19, the Kauai chapter held a general membership meeting open to the public and plans one for Dec. 4. The agenda included discussion on voter education and outreach, including the activities below. Starting this early allowed these activities to be successful.
• During 2006, the Kauai board met seven times and three Kauai Voter newsletters (Spring, Summer and Fall) were mailed to all members. A Winter issues is planned.
LWV Kaua`i for voter education in 2006 included :
a. PRIMARY ELECTION: Candidates Forum for the United States House of Representatives, Congressional District #2 was held Tuesday, September 5, 4:30 pm to 8 pm at the Kaua`i War Memorial Convention Hall. Eleven of the thirteen candidates and over 100 members of the public participated. Kauai League networked with KQNG radio, and DJ Ron Wiley hosted the live program on AM57 from 5 pm to 7 pm. In addition, Ho`ike PEG access recorded the program and played it several times prior to the primary election.
b. GENERAL ELECTION: he Kauai chapter is coordinated a non-partisan 2006 General Election Voter Guide published by the Honolulu Advertiser and coordinated by League of Women Voters of – Kaua`i Chapter. All Kaua`i candidates were mailed an invitation to participate at no charge via certified letter and questionnaire. Each was also invited to purchase ad ad on first come/first served basis. Fortunately, the ad spaced sold out ($7,400) and attracted $2,000 League donation. The guide is 12 pages long, not including the 4-page charter secions, and samples are available for each chapter president who requests one.
On October 27th, 2006 this LWV Voter Guide was sent to 30,800 mailing addresses in this county, and the Honolulu Advertiser will produce an over run to allow Kaua`i League to distribute extra copies. This Voter Guide was a free and useful resource for voters the last two weeks before the Nov. 7 General election. We paid for extra copies to distribute to libraries, etc. This LWV Voter Guide included basic voting information and candidate information. KLWV was pleased that the proposed County Charter Amendments 4-page section was contributed and paid for by the County of Kauai Charter Review Commission.
Costs were $6,468.36 for publishing and $800 for layout. (these costs did not include the County of Kauai charter amendment pages, which they paid for separately).
a. The candidates forum was a great success and I recommend we network with KQNG Radio in the future. The audience participation section worked well, and the feedback from the candidates was very positive, in spite of the challenges of dealing with so many candidates at one sesssion. Trhis could not have occurred without the support from our League membership.
b. The Voter Guide seemed to be more work than last time, but was worthwhile. All candidates who submitted their information on time were included. I recommend and earlier mailout for the 2008 candidates. I wish there had been more room for the pros and cons for state constitutional amendments. Layout was better than last year and the consultant, Carrie Johnson, did a great job. Funds raised were diminished a bit from last year. (See accounting. ) Other feedback is appreciated.
Kauai League of Women Voters President
From the Newsletters
Ka Leo Hana - Aug 2006 Kauai Chapter Report
On July 4, the Kauai chapter operated a voter registration table at the Kauai Hospice Independence Day Fair, from 1 pm to 9 pm. We registered approximately 25 voters.
On June 19, the Kauai chapter held a general membership meeting open to the public. The agenda included discussion on voter education and outreach, including the activities below.
In addition to the League's ongoing voter registration drive and outreach, the chapter plans for voter education in 2006 include:
a. For the Primary Election
A Candidates Forum
U.S. House of Representatives,
Congressional District #2
Tuesday, September 5, 4:30 pm
Kaua`i War Memorial Convention
The LWV Kauai County board met Monday, July 10 and discussed many important races occurring this election season. With the limited resources at the League's disposal, the board agreed that a public forum focusing on this national race was crucial for the primary election.
Invitations to all candidates for this race were mailed by certified letter July 26. It is hoped that all candidates, most of them from other islands, will take ad-vantage of this opportunity to communicate with our Kauai residents. Challenge: the Kauai League welcomes assistance with costs of organizing and coordinating a Candidate forum for Primary election. Estimated costs are $1460.
b. For the General Election:
Printed LWV Kauai County Voter Guides
This year, the Kauai chapter is coordinating a FREE non-partisan 2006 General Election Voter Guide published by The Honolulu Advertiser and coordinated by The League of Women Voters of Hawai`i (LWV) - Kaua`i Chapter. All Kaua`i candidates will be mailed an invitation to participate via certified letter and questionnaire. On October 27th , 2006 this LWV Voter Guide will be sent to 30,800 mailing addresses in this county, and The Honolulu Advertiser will produce an over run to allow Kaua`i League to distribute extra copies. This Voter Guide will be a free and useful resource for voters the last two weeks before the Nov. 7 General election. This LWV Voter Guide will include basic voting information, proposed County Charter Amendments, and candidate information. The candidate information will be comprised of provided biographical information, and answers to questions.
Ka Leo Hana - June 2006 Kauai Chapter Report
This spring, League's Kauai County chapter held two public events: on March 18, "Applying Sunshine," a public forum featuring Les Kondo, director of the Office of Information Practices and Adam Harju, editor of the Garden Island newspaper; and on April 22, The 39th Annual Kauai County League meeting/luncheon with keynote speaker, Tom Dinell, who also moderated a panel of local planners to discuss "Are we Planning or Are we Permitting?"
The 2006-7 Elected Kauai Board: consists of the following officers:
- President - Carol Bain
- Vice-President - Althea McCleery
- Treasurer - Susan Wilson
- Secretary - Charee Watters
- Elected Members: Mary Stone, Linda Harmon, Marie Fifield
The chapter awarded a $200 scholarship to Jessica Zappey, a student enrolled in political science courses at Kauai Community College. We are
reviewing two local positions:one on transportation and another on our parks department. ACLU is organizing a Kauai "chapter" with which we will be networking in the future. The fact that we have lacked a
Membership Chairperson for the past several years has resulted in a current membership list of only 23 members
Linda Harmon, our Voter Education Chair, has announced several Kauai Voter Education projects for 2006. First, several candidates have announced that they will be running for mayor; so the League is planning to coordinate a mayoral candidates public forum Second, an LVW Kauai County Voter Guide is planned for the General Election. We have invited the County Charter Review Commission to include the list of drafted amendments with pros and cons as they will appear on the ballot.
Carol Bain, President
Ka Leo Hana - Spring 2006 Kauai Chapter Report
Kauai League met Jan. 9, 2006 and February 13, 2006. A Transportation Study of the County of Kauai, which is being chaired by Althea McCleery, is ongoing. This committee has met several times with the Transportation Division at County Public Works. It is focusing on encouraging better public transportation and access.
Our annual meeting and luncheon has been scheduled for Saturday, April 22 and the topic is "Planning Ahead." We usually have a speaker and Beryl Blaich was suggested. Althea McCleery will report on proposed changes in League bylaws and policies. The projected budget and slate of officers as well as bylaw reforms must be formulated and sent out to members 30 days before the annual meeting.
The annual State League Council meeting is coming up in May. Carol Bain and Linda Harmon plan to attend. Linda Harmon will also be chairing voter registration outreach for 2006. The annual national League meeting will be held in June in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and LWV-Kauai has appointed Charee Watters chapter delegate for the 2006 national convention.
We are continuing to monitor the Kauai Charter Review Commission. Members are also assisting with a Freedom of Information Audit being conducted statewide with results to be published in conjunction with Sunshine Week.
Ka Leo Hana - Fall 2005 - Kauai Studies Transportation
The Kauai League has long given an annual scholarship award to a Kauai Community College student writing the best essay on citizen participation in government decision-making processes. This year's winner, Katie Rablin Thomas, received her $200 scholarship award at the Kauai League's 35th annual meeting, on Saturday, April 16, 2005.
Kauai League has initiated a local study on transportation. The focus is on a Public Transit Bus System for Kauai County. Althea McCleery recommended that our policy was in need of review and agreed to chair this committee. Our current local position on transportation is to support and promote policies and programs that develop choices for viable, ADA accessible government-subsidized public transportation systems. The committee met July I 1 to start work and define goals, and will meet again on September 19, 10 a.m. to noon at the YWCA.
Monitoring Electric Coop
The chapter has undertaken what may become the first of several monitoring efforts. Kauai Island Utility Cooperative is the recently formed (2002) electric utility that provides centralized electricity on the island of Kauai. Their very first ballot was a laundry list of bylaw changes, some of them significant; but it provided no way for voters to make independent decisions about them. Since then the League on Kauai has been attempting to educate the board on citizen participation and fair and standard election practices. Two years ago, in the spring of 2003. the Kauai League initiated a "watchdog effort" which it feels indicated in this case and in the case of any non-profit organization with an annual budget greater than $100,000 that depends upon state-mandated or government funding for more than 50% of its operating budget. The oversight indicated would include reporting on an open nominations and an open elections process.
Since the scandals of Enron, WorldCom, and others, the importance of independent third-party auditing of financial records has been realized on a corporate level, and such oversight might well be applied to the larger nonprofits and cooperatives. Review of these organizations' financial records must also be public. The Hawaii Attorney General promoted a bill before the state legislature calling for just such financial audits of PEG access corporations, which have taken millions of state-mandated funds since they were formed over a decade ago. A bill that gives the state the authority to perform a financial audit of PEG access corporations in Hawaii was passed, but no financial audit has apparently been budgeted (see HB 1353).
Ka Leo Hana - Fall 2005 - Secrecy Is on the Rise
The Office of Information Practices (OIP) is writing strong letters to the County of Kauai as the Council and its attorneys are failing to comply with the Sunshine Law and Uniform Information Practices Act. And Kauai County is not the only local government that would prefer not to follow the open meetings and open records laws.
In March 2003, a bill to exempt county councils from the Hawaii open-meetings law apparently died in the state Legislature. The Honolulu City Council had asked for the bill, contending the open-meetings law imposed too rigid restrictions. Civic groups opposed the measure, saying it created too much of a loophole. If passed, a bill like that would "compromise" the public's right to know.
Often, sections of the state "sunshine" law HRS-92 Public Agency Meetings and Records are quoted, in references to good government. Such references generally support the following principles:
- open meetings (The public may attend without specified permission)
- Agendas are published early and distributed widely
- Public is provided opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, in writing (and reasonable time is allowed for oral discussion), on any agenda item.
- Open records are made available to public for inspection (with narrowly construed exceptions) within 30 days.
- Closed meetings, called executive sessions, are allowed but are strictly defined (see HRS92-5 Exceptions);
- Minutes of executive sessions may be withheld so long as their publication would defeat the lawful purpose of the executive meeting, but no longer. (General rule: when in doubt about what to disclose, err on the side of openness.)
Government secrecy is on the rise, and Kauai County Council has accelerated the frequency of executive sessions. Since taking office in 2004, the council had gone into secret sessions 146 times by the end of July, 2005. During the two years prior, the Council called executive sessions only 42 times. Large non-profit corporations and those who are providing privatized services with state-mandated monies are also resisting compliance with open records by taking OIP to court ('Olelo vs OIP). These cases mean no accountability for millions of dollars for public services. It appears that more agencies, councils, boards are ignoring sunshine laws. Enforcing FIRS-92, OIP is an unsung hero for government accountability and unfortunately, their budget is often cut. Yet a law not vigorously enforced is a paper tiger. You can learn
more about OIP at www.state.hi.us/oip/sunshinelaw.html.)
Most politicians go into office vowing to make government more open. After the election, when it comes time to follow sunshine, those good vows must be remembered. If not remembered by the elected representative, then they must be remembered by the voters.
[Editor's Note: According to a recent Associated Press report, the same tendency is clearly visible on the part of the federal government. A September 4 article in the Honolulu Advertiser reported "The government is withholding more information than ever from the public and expanding ways of shrouding data. Last year, federal agencies spent a record $148 creating and storing new secrets for each $1 spent declassifying old secrets, a coalition of watchdog groups reported..." The "secrecy report card" was written by Rick Blum and issued by OpenTheGovernment.org.]
Ka Leo Hana - Summer 2004 Report from Kauai
At our May 15 Council meeting, we discuss the challenges that are facing all of us as League members. Here are some of the ones the Kauai chapter faces:
- the rural nature of the island tends to isolate us
- our members are either working 60 hours a week or are "economically challenged"
- a dearth of local and reliable news
- the feeling that sometimes we are the only organized voice speaking for an informed and participatory democracy
Nevertheless, we persevere and are not going away. The Kauai chapter is planning to publish a 2004 voter guide and will hold a general membership meeting June 14, noon, at the YWCA to plan voter education projects. We just submitted a $3,000 grant request to Young Brothers, Inc. to help defray costs, and wish to thank the Honolulu chapter for allowing us to use their voter education account.
Our plans to hold an ethics workshop before the election took a blow with the cancellation by our main speaker, Dan Mollway, but we may regroup with the collaboration with the County Board of Ethics. The Kaua'i chapter has no current studies, but has an ongoing Oversight (or Watchdog) Committee that attempts to hold the larger non-profits and the electric utility accountable to state sunshine laws.
A well-informed public depends upon an independent press and diverse sources of accurate and unfiltered news. The fact that only seven corporations now own the majority of our news sources is troubling in a democracy. What our country has witnessed lately is the pragmatic displacement of "truth" by desirable belief. More and more, stubborn facts are replaced by "warranted assertabilities."
Still, no list of challenges should go without a list of solutions. If you cannot find accurate news sources, then you must actively support new alternatives and seek out news on your own. This means:
- contribute to a new newspaper & demand better reporting;
- use the internet as a free speech tool;
- get on the board of a community radio station to encourage more local news programming;
- sit in on board meetings of the public access TV stations or utility boards, take notes and push for accountability & sunshine
- attend government meetings & speak your manao
- tell others to join the League of Women Voters
Ka Leo Hana - Winter 2003 Local League News - Kauai
A continuing effort to have open governance, also known as Sunshine Laws (HRS-92), reincorporated into the bylaws of local Public, Education and Government (PEG) cable TV facilities has met with recent success. Kauai League members provided evidence and testimony describing these issues to the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) last August. On September 26, 2003, DCCA director Mark Recktenwald released a PEG plan that will require these facilities to follow Sunshine and Open Records Laws in the future. This new statewide access plan sets forth the state's policies toward PEG access. League members are encouraged to read the plan for comment: hawaii.gov/dcca/catv.
In looking back at 2003, the Kauai chapter distributed six newsletters and mailings; held two general membership meetings; and the board met 1 I times. Last May we co-sponsored a "Peace Event" with the East Kauai Y's Men's Association (part of YMCA), where families who had relatives serving in Iraq were acknowledged. Several new members have joined, three at the Nov. 8 general membership meeting.
The Kaua'i chapter has no studies currently under way, but has an ongoing Oversight (or Watchdog) Committee that formed last April with the following recommendation: The 2002-2003 board recommends oversight of our utility cooperative and any non-profit organizations with an annual budget greater than $100,000 depending upon state-mandated or government funding for more than 50% of their operating budget.
There is an initial Watchdog Committee Report: The new electric utility cooperative, Kauai Island Utility Coop (KIUC), was selected to watch. A letter was sent in August requesting all revised and current bylaws. A careful review of KIUC bylaws in effect prior to the September 2003 ballot resulted in the discovery that the ballot did not conform to the bylaws. Carol Bain and Marie Fifield attended the KIUC board meeting prior to the organization's election and delivered a written notification of the problem. A copy was sent to the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by Kauai League. The KIUC board chose not to correct the ballot, but instead sent a 3-page written justification as to why the ballot does not have to conform to their bylaws. Their letter also states that the courts, not the PUC, is the correct venue for future complaint.
I have since attended a Hawaii Community Foundation workshop on non-profit governance which included board responsibilities and due diligence, and was told that in most states it is appropriate to notify the Attorney General's office if an organization is not in compliance with its bylaws. The Kauai League is considering this next step, and is grateful for state League board's advice and encouragement provided at the November 15 quarterly meeting.
|Ka Leo Hana - Winter 2002 Local League News - Kauai
1. Update on the open governance issue to which we've devoted a lot of time and effort: Last September, the Office of Information Practices issued a revised opinion which concluded that the community access TV stations, Olelo and Ho'ike, are subject to the provisions of the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA). According to the State Office of Information Practices (OIP) opinion dated September 6, 2002, "Examining the totality of all the factors, the OIP is of the opinion that Olelo and Ho'ike are corporations owned, operated, or managed by or on behalf of this State as set forth under section 92F-3 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, and are, therefore, required to follow the UIPA." See hpam.hi.net/oelo/opinion for further details.
In the two months since that opinion, the Hoike board has resisted attempts by the public to obtain public records by establishing high fees (about $5.50 per page). The Hoike board also refused to allow any members of the public to attend their October board meeting. When two people tried to attend, they were told at the beginning of the meeting that they would be forcibly removed if they did not leave, even though the agenda did not indicate an executive session.
It is clear this community access station does not wish to have public oversight as they spend state mandated funds. It might be desirable to request a state audit. The League could be instrumental in requesting one for Hoike, and possibly for 'Olelo and other access corporations in the state. The Kaua'i LWV board agreed on October 11, to raise the question of this course of action with the other Leagues within the State.
2. Campaign Ethics Workshop: At the request of the Kauai chapter, Carol Bain (KLWV board director) has drafted a letter for the League to work with the State Ethics Commission (SEC), and the Campaign Spending Commission (CSC), as well as the local County Ethics Commission to offer Campaign Ethics Workshops around the state in early 2004. She has communicated with Dan Mollway, Executive Director of the State Ethics Commission and he is very interested in sponsoring this cooperative effort with the League. The goal of such workshops would be to raise the level of public understanding about ethical challenges for candidates, and possibly to inform about ethical campaign issues.
The negative impact of poor ethical decisions about campaign strategy causes a "turn-off" on the part of voters, thus resulting in lower voter turnout at the polls. While hard data on such a causal relationship are not available to us, we suspect they can be found. The Kaua'i League of Women Voters discussed this topic at its November board meeting and agrees the issue is of statewide importance. We intend to share our thinking with the other League chapters to obtain agreement or consensus.
The Campaign Spending Commission already offers a two-hour workshop to candidates within 30 days of the filing date for elected office. Carol Bain attended that workshop as presented by Bob Watada in late August this year, and though a code of ethics is one of their forms, it was not covered. It should not be difficult for the SEC office to design and add a one-to-two hour section on the ethical considerations of running a fair campaign in conjunction with this workshop.
In order to do this effectively, the State Ethics Commission should work in conjunction with the Campaign Spending Commission and include participation by each County Ethics Commission. As neither the County of Kaua'i nor the League have funds for this educational workshop, monetary support for its development and promotion would have to come primarily from the State Ethics Commission, though some joint effort to obtain funding could be pursued.
Kaua'i League chapter intends to share this with the other chapters of the League to determine our level of support. For instance, the League chapters on each island could provide outreach and coordination, but may need to estimate the expense of local advertising and marketing. Kaua'i League is interested in what other chapters think of this idea. Contact: Carol Bain (email@example.com) 808-2462111 to request a copy of the letter sent to Daniel Mollway or to offer suggestions.
Ka Leo Hana - Fall 2002 Kauai Chapter Report
A Significant Victory!
As a result of questions raised by the Kaua'i League of Women Voters a year ago, the Office of Information Practices (OIP) has concluded that Ho'ike Community TV is "owned, operated or managed on behalf of this state" and thus, as a matter of public policy their records are subject to inspection.
The Kauai League wrote to the Office of Information Practices last Fall to request this and related opinions, after witnessing major bylaw changes at Ho'ike board meetings, an increase in the use of executive sessions, and police to exclude the public. The secrecy heightened public suspicion and prompted League action.
The OIP concluded (Op. No. 0208) that Ho'ike and Olelo, which manages the public access cable channels, are subject to the state's public records law. Despite being set up as a private, not-for-profit corporation for the purposes of the Uniform Information & Practices Act (UIPA), these non-profits are state agencies subject to Open Records Law (HRS-92F).
A dynamic democracy depends upon the public's ability to participate in and have oversight of all government functions, especially when they are spending state monies. The League is very pleased with the opinion and thanks OIP for their due diligence. The one-year wait for the opinion in no way detracts from our appreciation, because the research required was a significant task.
Olelo, the public access station on Oahu, receives over $3 million each year, and Ho'ike on Kaua'i receives about $275,000 each year, in addition to other government contracts. All public access stations in Hawai'i derive their funding from cable company franchise fees (three per cent of their profits), as mandated by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA).
The OIP has found that Ho'ike was created by the state to perform a government function, and can be ended by the state. The state also appoints the majority of the board and funds the organization with public monies. Therefore, for purposes of the Uniform Information and Practices Act, it is subject to HRS-92F, the open records law.
The Kaua'i League board met September 12 to discuss this timely issue, and expressed the hope that this opinion sends a message to organizations that seek to provide privatized government services: open up your records to the public for accountability and oversight.
The League is in the process of interacting with its membership statewide on the impact this opinion may have on other situations. This opinion could be used to explicitly block government agencies from designating public tasks to private agencies and then claiming they are exempt from state open records and Sunshine laws.
As the newly accessed information from these organizations comes under public scrutiny, and after receiving feedback from its membership, the League may join others in a call for a state audit of these access corporations around the state. (No state audit of any public access stations has been conducted since they were created by the DCCA over 10 years ago.)
The Kauai League had also included in their September 13, 2001 request, an opinion regarding whether Ho'ike, and potentially other public access organizations, are also subject to the Open Meetings Laws. That matter will be addressed separately by the OIP. It is understandably taking more time for OIP to research.
Ka Leo Hana - Summer 2002 Local Chapter News Clips - Kauai
Kauai has a new President, Carol White. Kauai completed a County Beach Park Study which urged support for a separate line item for each County Beach Park in the budget.
Ka Leo Hana - Spring 2002 Local Local News - Kauai
Kaua'i Beach Parks Study
The Kaua'i League's Beach Study Committee has analyzed the survey data gathered from 17 Kaua'i County Beach parks. The purpose is to study the parks and the budget that maintains them. This study does not focus on beach access, but rather on safety and use. The committee, chaired by past president Althea McCleery, used survey data along with budget and planning information from the County Parks and Recreation division. The final study with 10 questions for consensus recommendations was mailed to all KLWV members in mid-February. A general membership meeting will be held May 20 at Nawiliwili Pavilion to discuss the questions and recommendations and come to consensus. As a courtesy, copies were also mailed to each LWV chapter in the state. Final results will be made available by the April 27 Kaua'i annual meeting.
A Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance Study Committee consists of Leaguers who are attending planning commission meetings and tracking CZO amendments, including proposed major changes in agriculture versus open land ordinances. A one-hour video workshop was sponsored by the League which aired on public access TV. A public workshop on the issue is planned. League members Beryl Blaich and Barbara Robeson co-chair, and it is ongoing.
Update on open governance issue - The Office of Information and Practices has not issued its opinion on whether PEG access boards, including Hoike and Olelo community TV, are state agencies and therefore subject to both state Sunshine (HRS-92) and open records laws. At the October 11, 2001 KLWV board meeting, the following motion passed unanimously:
"The board of the Kauai League of Women Voters endorses the request for the Office of Information and Practices (OIP) to revisit its Advisory Opinion 94-23 which concluded that Ho'ike: Kauai Community Television, Inc. (Ho'ike) is not a "board" as the term is defined in section 92F-3, Hawaiian Revised Statutes, and therefore is not subject to the provisions of the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), and to reverse that Opinion."
The minutes including the motion were approved at the November meeting and a copy of the minutes was sent to OIP in late November. OIP Staff Attorney Jennifer Brooks recently informed the Kauai League president that the work on this opinion is OIP's top priority, and a final opinion should be issued before the end of this legislative session. There are also several related bills before the Legislature that support this effort to have our public access organizations operate in a more open way with public accountability. Highlights are listed at: hpan.hi.net
Ka Leo Hana - Winter 2001 Kauai League
Update on open governance issue: Ho'ike Community TV'S board of directors removed bylaws supporting sunshine and open records laws on 9/7/01. Because I witnessed this and other bylaw violations, I felt compelled to seek solutions. I drafted a letter on Kauai League (KLWV) letterhead and flew to Oahu (not at League expense) to meet with the state Office of Information and Practices (OIP), and legislators, to discuss ways to resolve the Ho'ike problem.
OIP has agreed to review a 1994 decision, and may issue an opinion before the end of the year that Ho'ike is a state agency and therefore subject to both state Sunshine and Open Records laws. This process of legal opinion review by OIP will not incur any fee to KLWV.
At the October 11, 2001 KLWV board meeting, the following motion passed unanimously:
"The board of the Kauai League of Women Voters endorses the request for the Office of Information and Practices (0IP) to revisit its Advisory Opinion 94-23 which concluded that Ho'ike, Kauai Community Television, Inc. is not a "board" as the term is defined in section 92F-3, Hawaiian Revised Statutes, and therefore is not subject to the provisions of the Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA), and to reverse that Opinion."
Beach Study: the Committee has met twice and volunteers have completed its survey on the 17 Kauai County beach parks. Barbara Robeson and Beryl Blaich have begun to assemble the survey data and will be delivering a report November 14 at Lihue Neighborhood Center 1 p.m. . The committee, chaired by Althea McCleery, will use this data, along with budget and planning information from the County Parks and Recreation division, to write an issues report by February 1, 2002. This will be mailed to all KLWV members for consensus.
County Zoning Ordinance (CZO) Study: committee consists of Leaguers who are attending planning commission meetings and tracking CZO amendments, including the recent beach access ordinance. The League has produced a 1-hour video workshop on the agriculture vs. open zoning CZO amendment issue that ran on Hoi'ke last month. The planning department was given a copy for lending to others.
Voter Registration: Next year is going to be a busy one. Susan Wilson offered to submit a re-draft of a letter to the State Office of Elections offering our Motor Voter registration services. An outreach to register first time voters at Kauai High School has also begun.
Ka Leo Hana - Fall 2001 League Local News - Kauai
Study: Kauai County Beach Parks
Beach access is an issue currently before the Kauai County Council. It will impact all of Kauai's beaches. Because beach parks are one of the county's major attractions and resources, Kauai League has approved and funded a study regarding them.
Initial work will establish assessment standards on which to compare all County Beach Parks. Althea McCleery, Beach Study Chair, said that the committee will devise a basic park assessment form. The form will gather statistics on beach improvements, water safety, signage, maintenance, types of use, ADA compliance, and related items.
If the Kauai County Beach Park Study process is successful, other Leagues around the state can use the devised survey grid as a template to apply to their own location.
Join us for a discussion on standards and evaluation Wednesday, September 12, 1 p.m. at the Lihue Neighborhood Center. Participants include Beryl Blaich, Martin Rice, Barbara Robeson, Edee Seymour, Carol White, and Carol Bain. Volunteers will visit and assess each park during the next year. If you care about Kauai parks, please come and join this worthwhile study. Beach Study Volunteer Contact: Edee Seymour, 332-9300. Chair: Althea McCleery, 822-5918 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org