Friday, June 27, 2008


PICK O’ THE POUND: Another day of Mayorless limbo another bunch of speculation all of which are based almost solely on a County press release with various reporters and editors attempting to read more into it than was there.

What stands out there is that mum seems to be the word from any of the seven samurai’s ambitions

What is in the release though is that the date for the meeting to replace Bryan Baptiste will not happen until after the memorial service a week from Sunday, July 6.

It says:

“The Kaua`i County Council is expected to hold a special meeting during the week after Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste’s July 6 2008 memorial service... although no date has been set.”

That said a peek at Councilperson Mel Rapozo’s blog says the date is in fact set for July 7. We’ve got a request in for clarification from Rapozo.

What is interesting in the County release is this tidbit:

“A team of county officials has been meeting this week to discuss succession issues. The team includes Acting Mayor Gary K. Heu, County Council Chair Bill “Kaipo” Asing, County Attorney Matthew Pyun , County Clerk Peter Nakamura, and staff. Other Councilmembers have not been directly involved in the discussions.”

If true the meetings might not violate the sunshine law as many worried however the word s “directly involved” could indicate that they illegally communicated, as the OIP has ruled you can’t, to avoid the Sunshine Law by “serial communications”

What does peak interest is Asing’s participation. If he indeed were seeking the mayor’s office it would have to be done now with many accusing him of rigging the process by being one who, with his sidekick County Clerk Peter Nakamura, has been meeting with Pyun and Heu.

Does this mean Asing is out of the running? Or does it mean that he doesn’t care about perceptions or what people think? Should he seek the mayor’s job and should any of the process favor him it would certainly be an issue in the fall campaign if any opponent wants to make it one.

But then again Asing’s well known abuses of the Sunshine Law could also be an issue in the fall all of which seems to be further indication Asing is not interested in a job switch.

It should also be noted that in Rapozo’s post he does not mention his own ambitions, which have been reported in the press without anything in writing from the Council’s only blogging member.

But as the clock runs down on the brief Heu administration here’s another morsel on the Mayor’s death and the County Charter succession provisions that might interest or at least amuse.

Had Baptiste passed away one month- or more precisely 27 days- later whomever was selected by the Council would be serving a two-year. four-month plus term.

After describing what many have been reading ubiquitously since Sunday about the vote by the Council, Charter Section 7.04 closes by saying that:

In the event the vacancy occurs later than three (3) days prior to the closing date for filing of nomination papers for the mid-term election, the mayor selected by the council shall continue to serve for the remainder of the term of the person he succeeded

The filing deadline this year is July 22, exactly one month to the day after Baptiste’s passing. The one big problem with this may be that anyone seeking office this November may be forced to make a decision on the 22nd as to whether to run for council or mayor without being able to know all the facts.

If the council takes all of the 30 days they are given to make a choice to fill the Council vacancy caused by the appointment of one of their members to Mayor, that decision would come after the filing deadline.

If the Council decides on July 23 or later someone seeking the open council seat might be undecided as to whether to run for Council or mayor They wouldn’t know whether they would gain the benefits of council incumbency.that would make a run for the Council more tempting.or be rejected by the Council.making a mayoral bid more appealing.

A candidate might be tricked into running for Council thinking they will get the open seat and then be left in the cold. Or told they would not get it, run for Mayor and get appointed to the Council. Or they could think, double think and triple think themselves into a bad decisions.

Any meeting to decide the replacement councilmember must also be scheduled six days before so the council has until July 16 to schedule a July 22 meeting that would allow for a decision before the filing deadline... although they could pull a fast one by deciding at 4:31 p.m. or later since the deadline is 4:30 on the 22nd.

That would leave only nine days between a July 7 Mayoral selection meeting and the agenda filing deadline and if the meeting isn’t held until Friday July 11 only four days.

It’s unknown if any of these considerations were discussed in the closed meetings of Asing, Heu, Pyun Nakamura and other “staff” but these are the kinds of considerations that Asing might be taking advantage of if he is going to seek the crown.

Could a July 22 meeting be in Asing’s plans? With a purposed gaveled recess just before a vote?

Hickory Dickery Dock
Can Asing run out the clock?
The clock struck 4:31
and no one dared run down (stairs to the first floor elections office from the second floor Council Chambers to file because they might miss the vote)
And the elections office was locked.


Anonymous said...

andy, maybe another reason to consider the alternative- an county manager.
another great scenario to see happen-have kaipo receive the interim nod(and gary hue remain to steer the ship) until the fall election. let those interested announce their intentions for the mayor's would open up the fall election for both aspiring mayoral and council candidates.
having kaipo and peter represent at the legislative leader meeting isn't so odd, peter's the clerk and kaipo's the chair; who else if not them?
the other call is let joanne back in the saddle for the short term until the election. she's the only one w/ experience at the job. if jay or ron like grumble they can run in the election. same w/mel.
interesting stuff.
dying while in office may have been bryan's biggest contribution to kauai's political future. it certainly did well for his current approval rating; it's never been higher. his public memorial service will be the utlimate kaleookauai meeting of his administration.
Rest in peace and blessings to his family. malama pono,......jimmy t

Andy Parx said...

That is a possibility Jimmy- Kaipo could say he’ll take it until Nov and run for council. that would settle things back to “normal”- as normal as it can be with a “surprise” mayoral election... and it would fit with Kaipo’s paternalistic persona by “doing it for the community”. The only problem might be that then he would have an extra incumbent councilmembers with five months of TV time to compete with him... but he wouldn’t lose a council race especially with at least one (Shay) “open” seat and probably more with one or more running for mayor.