CARVING OUT A THIRD WAY: Something subversive clicked this morning when we read the headline in the Honolulu Advertiser saying “Burial council won't sign rail pact”.
(t)he Oahu Island Burial Council has decided not to join other parties ... in signing an agreement on mitigating the rail project's impacts on historical, cultural and archaeological resources...
The burial council decision is largely symbolic and isn't expected to stop or delay the 20-mile elevated commuter train project.
That last sentence seemed odd considering how much power the Kaua`i Island Burial Council (KIBC) has apparently had in recent doings up at Naue where developer Joe Bresca continues to build a massive house on top of burials despite warning from Judge Kathleen Watanabe, while the planning commission has voted to consider revoking his building permit based on the fact that he doesn’t have the proper “sign off” from the KIBC.
What occurs to us is that the oft repeated conundrum for the KIBC- that they are limited to the two bad choices of either leaving the burials in place or removing them- may not actually be the case.
Because, as the months-long delay in holding a KIBC meeting due to a lack of appointments sufficient to maintain a quorum, they have, in a de facto manner, carved out a third choice- to simply not act on the request.
We’re not sure what the planning process on O`ahu calls for but here one of the numerous “sign-offs”- a so-called “punch list” of agency approvals that the planning commission and department rules mandate- is one from the KIBC.
Though the delay was unintentional, apparently, since the “automatic approval” law is inoperable here, if the KIBC simply “receives the matter for the record” – as the county council does when it doesn’t want to discuss an issue anymore- the planning department would be unable to issue a building permit.
After all it’s only been the widely reviled and truth-challenged State Archeologist Nancy McMahon’s -so that there are only two useless wrenches in the KIBC toolbox.
Who’s to say that if they take a page from the county council’s playbook of obstruction they can’t carve out a third?