Wednesday, September 29, 2010

WHERE’S DOROTHY LAMOURE WHEN YOU NEED HER

WHERE’S DOROTHY LAMOURE WHEN YOU NEED HER: One thing you’ve got to give the guardians at the gates of county council information: they don’t need Bing and Bob to guide us down the Road to Ignorance.

When it comes to using underhanded and unscrupulous methodologies that are rarely deciphered in time to do anything about it, they take a back seat to none.

But the clues are there for any forensic document reader if you know what to look for and are ready to do a little work to find out what the heck is going on.

So last Thursday when we received and examined the agenda for today’s council meeting this stood out as an executive session (ES) item begging for explanation and exposition.

The meat of it reads:

The Office of the County Attorney requests an executive session with the Council to discuss legal issues pertaining to the implementation of Ordinance 885.

Of course no one knows what ordinance 885 is.

When a bill becomes an ordinance it is given a number. But since the Kaua`i County Code essentially remains a secret document- with no on-line version and the only way to see it being to request it by number even though finding out the number is nearly impossible- with the topic, for the uninitiated, remaining meaningless.

They also cleverly post the agenda late on Thursdays, often after official office hours, so with “furlough Fridays” the earliest one can call and find out anything is Mondays, a mere 48 hours before the meeting. That makes notifying others- so as to gather a crowd to testify- a Herculean effort.

But apparently one of those that worked tirelessly to see the bill that became Ordinance 885 pass also actually reads each week’s agenda and wondered, with us, what 885 was all about.

We’ll let Pat Gegan’s letter to the mayor and the council (edited for spelling) speak for itself since we could not say it better.

Subject: Kauai's Bag Bill Under Attack???? HELP!

Date: Tue, 28 Sep 2010 17:48:52 -0400

Dear Zerowasters, Apollo Kauai Members, County Council Members and Honorable Mayor:

After pulling up the Council agenda last night and a quick call to Council Services this AM for clarification (since Kauai County doesn't want to make it too easy for citizens to get info by putting OUR information on the internet....) I began to get worried.........

I am confused and concerned by tomorrow's Council Agenda, specifically the Executive Session item #2. The item in question is Ordinance #885 which is the Plastic Bag Ban that is scheduled to be in place starting this January when Maui is also doing the same.

Why is an executive session needed to discuss the Plastic Bag Ban??? As I recall the issue was deferred multiple times as the county attorney and the council were trying to find the "correct" language for the definition of what constitutes a "plastic bag". Now - Only 3 months before implementation - the attorney and council want to meet behind closed doors to discuss this issue. What could be the "...powers, duties, privileges, immunities and/or liabilities of the council as they relate to this agenda item."? It has been over a year since the bill passed and the ordinance was signed.

What could the issue be??? The ordinance allows no single use plastic bags with petroleum products to be given away in retail establishments . This was meeting the needs of what we wanted, 1) Less rubbish for the landfill that lasts for a long time w/o breaking down, 2) less opala flying around our garden Island and harming our wildlife, 3) No new feed for the floating Pacific plastic patch, and 4) less use of petroleum based products. Section 1 of the Ordinance below states it better than I can:

"The Council of the County of Kauai finds and declares that to preserve health, safety, welfare and the scenic beauty of Kauai, the distribution of plastic bags should be regulated and prohibited."

Seems very clear to me - I would like to believe that when the council and the mayor propose and sign a bill into an ordinance that the legislation has some meaning. Why hasn't Kauai county government taken an active role in the implementation of this legislation like Maui appears to (look at the Maui county website dealing with implementation of their bag ban -
http://www.co.maui.hi.us/index.aspx?NID=1688 )?

Going forward:


-I will be at the council meeting tomorrow to address my concerns,

-I humbly would ask for others to let your council members know how you feel about the bag ban as it was signed - if you have time (see email addresses above),

-I personally vow to vote against any council member who tries to change the Ordinance or the implementation date as it stands (and I will actively try to influence others similarly) .

I would appreciate feedback. I am concerned especially since it is in executive session and can only hope my concerns are unfounded.

Humbly,

Pat Gegen

According to a source who spoke to a councilperson, County Attorney Al Castillo has now decided that his own language- which he insisted on during the council sessions on the bill- regarding the "no petroleum content" requirement is now somehow problematic.

Of course it’s too late for you to go down there and insist on a public airing of the issues involved or demand they leave the bill alone- by the time we post this the meeting will be over.

Why it’s almost as if they planned it that way.

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For those interested in more information on Waldorf “Wally” Wilson whereabouts and related issues, please read Joan Conrow’s interview today with KPD Chief Darryl Perry.

1 comment:

Brad Parsons said...

Andy, you gotta watch it on Hoike. It did not go to Executive Session. The ordinance is expected to be addressed again in the Council Public Works Committee next Wed. I am told the Administration said late today that they will be coming out with draft rules to implement the ordinance in the next few days.