President's Message (Maile Bay)
Openness in the Courts (Jackie Parnell)
Our Comprehensive (Full) Public Funding Bill 2004 (Grace Furukawa)
Public Funding of Presidential Primary and General Election
Where Has Our Democracy Gone? (Grace Furukawa)
Ray of Sunshine (Jean Aoki)
Local League News - Honolulu
Local League News - Hawaii (Lois Cecil)
Local League News - Kauai (Carol Bain)
What is the Act 190 Task Force and Who Cares? (Jaurene Judy)
NBC to Televise Democratic Presidential Primary Debate... LWVUS
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.