Board and Commissions are meant to provide another level of independent grassroots experiences and understanding to the political decision-makers. However, many of these major Boards have become an extension of the politicians and made up of the lobbyists, political donors, trade industries and legal Oligarchy.
We’re not placing a judgment on the nominated members. They are not elected to represent the people although there are basic requisites and Standards of Conduct expected. But we’re placing the judgment on the Mayors and the City Council members who are the elected decision-makers expected to watch out for the overall public good and public interest.
Is there fairness or a diversified representation of Oahu’s population in these nomination and appointment process? The City Council should not be simply a rubber-stamp of the Office of the Mayor.
This is the Planning Commission that recently reviewed Bill 10 to significantly amend Oahu’s Land Use Ordinances. Bill 10 became controversial because many residents are expressing grave concerns about the lack of grassroots participation.
Here are the members as of this writing:
Brian Lee was appointed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Affiliations: Hawaii Laborers & Employers Cooperation and Education Trust Fund. Hawaii LECET -Executive Director Intnl. Brotherhood of Electrical Workers -Director of Research & Communications Hawaii Construction Industry Association -Executive Director
Ryan Kamo was appointed by Mayor Kirk Caldwell. Affiliations: Design Partners Incorporated.
Hilarie Alomar was appointed by Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Affiliations: Kamehameha Schools – Commercial Real Estate Division, TOWNSCAPE INC.
Melissa May was appointed by Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Affiliations: SSFM International, SSFM International (2013-present) – Senior Planner, Associate Hawaii Fashion Incubator (2006-2017) – Co-founder Group 70 International (2012-2013) – Planner Lumen Solar LLC (2010-2013)
Nathaniel Kinney was appointed by Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Affiliations: Executive Director, Hawaii Construction Alliance. Served on the Honolulu Fire Commission.
Pane Meatoga III was appointed by Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Affiliations: Hawaii Operating Engineers Industry Stabilization Fund, Community Liaison. Polynesian Cultural Center Marketing Manager. He’s in the process of being re-appointed in 2022 as of this writing.
Kai Nani Kraut was appointed by Mayor Rick Blangiardi. Afiliations: QRSE, LLC -Environmental consulting with DTS. Design of projects that require permitting through DPP. HDR, Inc, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit Project (HRTP), Sun Edison WindFarm, Honolulu County Deputy Director of Transportation,
Advises the Mayor, County Council, and Planning Director in matters concerning planning programs.
Reviews amendments to the General Plan, Development Plans, Zoning Ordinances, and State Land Use district boundaries of 15 acres or less, and after public hearings, transmits findings and recommendations to the County Council for consideration and action.
Acts as the authority for the City on State Special Use Permits.
Section 6-1506. Powers, Duties and Functions — The planning commission shall: (a) Advise the mayor, council and the director of planning and permitting on matters concerning the planning programs. (b) Hold public hearings and make recommendations on all proposals to adopt or amend the general plan, development plans, and zoning ordinances. The commission shall complete its review and transmit its recommendations through the mayor to the council for consideration and action in a timely manner. (c) Perform such other related duties as may be necessary to fulfill its responsibilities under this charter or as may be assigned by the mayor or the council. (1998 General Election Charter Amendment Question No. 1(III))
References: Are the appointments contributing to these expectations and ideals for Honolulu’s Boards and Commissions? Is there diversification and a fair representation across Oahu’s population?
ARTICLE XI – STANDARDS OF CONDUCT. Section 11-101. Declaration of Policy — ( Page 101) Elected and appointed officers and employees shall demonstrate by their example the highest standards of ethical conduct, to the end that the public may justifiably have trust and confidence in the integrity of government. They, as agents of public purpose, shall hold their offices or positions for the benefit of the public, shall recognize that the public interest is their primary concern, and shall faithfully discharge the duties of their offices regardless of personal considerations.
Section 11-104. Fair and Equal Treatment — (page 103) Elected or appointed officers or employees shall not use their official positions to secure or grant special consideration, treatment, advantage, privilege or exemption to themselves or any person beyond that which is available to every other person. (Reso. 83-357)