Monday, March 3, 2008

DO I NEED ONE?

DO I NEED ONE?: Seems among Kaua`i dog aficionados some fell off the turnip truck recently and are up in arms over the Kaua`i Bike Path and regulations (Joan) that call it a “county park” and therefore off limits to four-leggers.

Today’s news is the latest example of the 29-questions-long list of illegalities and improprieties in putting a concrete ribbon a few feet from the shore. Kaua`i watchdogs Joe Rosa and Glenn Mickens have been pointing them out for many years while Kaua`i residents dismissed complaints and got on the conga line to the “bike bath”... the one where you wouldn’t dare ride a bike through the joggers, baby carriages, skateboarders... tricyclists...unicyclists?

The Honolulu newspaper says the county will “be enforcing a county ordinance” that bans dogs in “county parks”. Problem is that no one has ever bothered to make the bike path a county park.

The 29 questions have never been answered by the Administration and the council gave up on getting answers, “receiving for the record” the list this January after about a year on the agenda.

The latest Council-swallowed claim is that the path is a “county park” and therefore bans dogs. But the bike path- required by federal law to be “for transportation as opposed to recreation” - has never been made a official park either by the council or through an official administrative action of the Mayor which would require notification.

The Kaua`i County Charter provides that “(e)very legislative act of the council shall be by ordinance except as otherwise provided”. which is now done now by amending the CZO (unavailable on-line) where “parks” are designated.

It also says “The Council also makes all decisions on acquiring land”. And 4.04 says “ No ordinance shall be amended, revised or repealed by the council except by ordinance. No resolution shall be amended, revised or repealed except by resolution, but a resolution may be superseded by a subsequent ordinance”

There has never been an ordinance or resolution making even any part of the Bike-Path a county park

Administratively, the Charter’s 23.09 say that “unless otherwise authorized by law, all rules and regulations ... must first be approved by the mayor prior to going into effect”. The County has not reported public action declaring the bike path a park.

Did Baptiste and Carvalho secretly pass some kind of bike-path= park-regulations? Their releases and public statements seem to indicate the answer is yes. It sounds very much like it might not be legal to do it without public hearings according to the State Sunshine (HRS 92) and Administrative Rules (HRS 91) laws.

One would hope Baptiste and the council learned that in the “dog pound for lost boys” fiasco last year.

If indeed the bike path is all a county park the question arises whether the Kapa`a Safeway and Foodland parking lots are too. It goes right through them, meandering a half mile mauka from the ocean and across the highway to get there

That portion of the “ribbon on the beach” will forever be known as “the Riddle of Tracy Murikami”.

Another problematic circumstance for the County might just be the ban on motorized vehicles in county parks, especially where it crosses the highway right at the main traffic intersection bottleneck of the world-renowned Kapa`a traffic.

The county owns a lot of land that isn’t part of the County park system. Many local people in the community tried to keep Kealia from becoming an official park in the 70’s and 80’s.

When the bike path was first proposed during the Kealia Kai controversy the question of whether it would conform to county park laws was essential so as to keep it open and not a private beach.. That specific stretch of the path and shoreline area- the first to be donated and the one that spurred Kusaka and Baptiste’s imagination- was promised as a proposed county park. But there was no resolution and no ordinance.

It’s one of those 29 questions along with the lack of required sign-off by the US Department of Transportation head as to the “for transportation, not recreation” requirement for the unaudited as yet federal funds... and the dubious segmenting of the environmental assessments to avoid a real study of the project as a whole... thereby avoiding any scrutiny of either the environmental impacts or even exposition of the exact route....



Update: The 2007 records for KIUC's Board of Director stipends and per diem/travel expenses are not going to be available until they are filed with the IRS so we’ve asked for the 2006 records.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope Judge Laureta woke up in time to cash his checks.

Joan said...

Thanks for all the good background, Andy. Sounds like if someone walks their dog on the path and gets ticketed, the county couldn't enforce the citation.

So why do u 'spose they're pushing it like that? And making up rationales for doing so?

Not that I personally much care, as I don't ever see myself using that path when there are plenty of good beaches to walk on, but I'm sure a lot of other dog owners would like to.

Andy Parx said...

Actually Joan I think it's just plain stupidity- they don't even know what they don't know so they just act - typical Baptise Administration M.O.

Maybe if they started asking questions now they'd have to consider the other 29.... but i wouldn't give them credit for being smart enough to figure that out so..?

Ace Harbinger said...

Hey Andy howzabout posting the OTHER 28 questions.

Thanks!

A.H.

Andy Parx said...

You're right Ace- I should- and will. I referred to a few such as the lack of DOT signoff on trasnportation use and the EA-EIS fudge but many concern maintanence and enforcment costs as well as future costs to just complete the path. Two of the other main ones is how much the path itself has cost so far and what the projected full cost of completing it will be-we can't even get that answered.

I'll dig out the full list as presented to the administration for ya.