Monday, July 7, 2008


HOW CAN YOU BE IN TWO KENNELS AT ONCE WHEN YOUR’RE NOT EVEN CHAIR AT ALL?: When is the mayor not the mayor? When the Mayor is the “I’m doing it my way” Kaipo Asing.

The first reports of the selection this morning of Kaipo Asing as temporary Mayor is perplexing for both what Tom Finnegan and Nathan Eagle reported and what they didn’t report.

Though the former Council Chair was officially and unanimously selected as mayor today the articles both say “he has no intention of taking the mayor's job until after the council's regular meeting Wednesday”.

That brings up a question of just who the heck the mayor is today, tomorrow and until Asing decides whether he’s Council chair or the mayor.

Is he both? Is he neither?

The charter seems to make it plain that Asing is now the Mayor.

Section 7.06. Vacancy in Office

A. In the event of a vacancy in the office of the mayor, the council shall select, by majority vote, one of its members as mayor to serve until the next general election and assumption of office in December by the person elected mayor. The vacancy in the council shall be filled as provided for in Article III, Section 3.05 of the charter...

B. During the temporary absence from the county or temporary disability of the mayor, or in case of a vacancy in the office of the mayor, until a new mayor is appointed or elected, the administrative assistant shall act as mayor.

Now that the Council has officially “selected” Asing to be mayor he is the Mayor. Once and future Administrative Assistant Gary Heu is no longer the temp Mayor because according to the Charter he was only to be Mayor “until a new mayor is appointed”.

The Charter contemplates the selection by the council of “one of its members” creating a vacancy as described in the sentence following the description of the selection process. Any swearing-in ceremony is inconsequential and the actual selection bestows “Mayor-hood” if you will and automatically results in the selected councilperson vacating their Council seat.

State law prohibits persons from occupying two elective offices at the same time.

That means that no matter what he thinks or wants to do Asing is as of this morning’s vote no longer a council member and therefore cannot act as one this Wednesday without violating the law.

The question of whether Asing will run in the general election remains unanswered. But Eagle does reveal that there will at least be a head-to-head battle between current Councilpersons Mel Rapozo and JoAnn Yukimura who “announced their intent to file to run for mayor in a special mayoral vacancy election this fall”.

The political turmoil of Baptiste’s death will certainly be felt way beyond the Round Building on December 1 with at least three open seats on the council making for wholesale changes across the street at the Historic County Building.

But what kind of changes remains an open question this seems to be a year that has thus far shown to be a meager year in the number of Council candidates especially when compared to the 21 that ran a few years back.

We can’t remember a year in the last 20 where the number of candidates wasn’t at least double the seven seats up for at-large election. And although there have been elections in recent times where three seats were vacant there has never been four “openings” at least since 1980.

(cue Wurlitzer) Will Asing be back on the Council in the fall or in grabbing the brass ring try to hold onto it?

Will Ron Kouchi seek the job he sought six years ago?

Will Tim Bynum decide to run on his mentor’s legacy?

Will arguably the most competent administrator Jay Furfaro pull the trigger he cocked when he switched parties a few years back as many at the time speculated he would do?

And on the administration side will Bernard Carvalho, the top recipient of Baptiste’s political largess, wonder whether he will have a job if a new Mayor actually demands competence in his or her administration and so run himself?

And certainly with all those Democrats running the Republicans will drag in some kind of cat from their meeting closet- possibly party hack Ron Agor who had previously expressed interest when the date of occupancy was though to be 2010?

Could there be more candidates for mayor than for the seven council seats? And with seven vacancies a possibility, what happens if there are only seven candidates- are we ready for Councilperson Bob Carriffe? And what happens if there are only six?

We’ll know some answers July 22. But meanwhile who will be the new Chair? Will it be Vice Chair Mel Rapozo or will the Council reorganize?.. and if they reorganize will they wait until they appoint a member to replace Asing?.. and will they reorganize committees too?

But we still wonder who will be sitting at the head of the Council table when they meet this Wed. at 9 a.m... if they have a quorum of four since two members will reportedly be off-island.

Tune in again tomorrow for “One Lie to Live”


Update: Both KITV and KGMB are reporting Asing will not run for Mayor this fall.


Anonymous said...


who cares? If he's not showing up for work it doesn't really matter which job he's not showing up for. He'll just tell Gary Heu to keep on doing the job like he's done for 6 years and that's that. You spend way too much time obsessing over the trivial details.

As for your prognostications. For someone holding himself out as a Kauai political guru, you've been off by miles. Kaipo was the obvious caretaker. Once you know Furfaro is holding back because Carvahlo is a relative the fall election gets clarified as well.

1) SIC - might want it but is just barely smart enough to realize she won't win. She's just too nasty. People might vote for her as a pit bull prosecutor, but that's it. And given her dim witted and hostile approach, she may just be shown the door.

2) Kaipo -- too old. Probably doesn't want the stress of 2 years of cleaning up the mess. It's much easier to sit at the big table and criticize someone else. As the executive, his only trick, talking every issue to death, is worthless.

3) Bynum -- for all your bile, there's no way he's gunning for the Mayors job. Not up to it and I suspect he'd be the first to tell you that.

4) Kouchi -- doubt Daddy dearest wants to spend that much money on another loss. He stepped on way too many toes over the years.

5) Yukimura -- She wants it. God help us

6) Rapozo -- Could that flaming a-hole even keep an administration staffed? Who'd work for him? If he runs, I hope Ed Coll swallows his squeamishness and plays the taps from the lap dance abuse case. People need to see just what a sleaze he is.

7) Furfaro -- best choice but he won't run unless B. Carvahlo realizes he has no chance and backs Jay. We can only hope he comes to his senses.

In a 3 way race just who do you vote for?

Rapozo, Yukimura or Carvahlo. That's a scary choice. I might even write in Kouchi if those are the only choices.

Andy Parx said...

Actually XRAP I said Kaipo would take it temporarily and not run for mayor in the fall. And I said Mel and Joann want it the most and would run. Tim might have had plans but they were for ’10 and even he knows he’s not ready- as I said. But you’re right about him deferring to Bernard because of it. I also said Ron would probably not run for financial reasons. And as I said, Jay would only do it if he was going to be coroneted and not if JoAnn is running..

One important thing to remember- Bernard has Bryan’s political machine at his disposal. JoAnn has what’s left of the old Dem-Kaua`i machine. Mel has no machine. And with a last minute campaign that may be most important- who has a GOTV mechanism already built.

And if you look at Wednesday’s agenda you’ll see why Asing wants to hold both offices- I’m not sure what Charter amendments are but they are probably Kaipo’s- and there’s the CA opinion matter on the agenda. It does matter whether he holds two offices at once especially in that apparently no one is going to enforce the law which always matters in my book.

And I’m no political guru- just an observer, albeit an intensely attentive one who knows the people and the process from going through the same cycle over and over.

Oh and- no write-ins in Hawai`i.

Anonymous said...

another good reason to consider the county manager system as a viable option to pursue. we'll never be able to escape the political machinations of local elections but there are valid points why an alternative to the status quo is worth looking at.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. You sure seemed to be obsessing over Tim Bynum and discounting Asing

"Many are talking about Asing having the inside track and being the favorite. But forget that- Asing had enough of that after trying to unseat Mayor Kusaka in ’98 and instead of being the shoo-in everyone saw him as on the day he filed his papers he couldn’t even place second, even though he had been the top vote getter in most of the past Council elections."

Andy Parx said...

Ah XRAP- Now I see- what you referred to was regarding the election not the selection.

I was afraid of that conflation even as I was writing. Just as there were two opportunities to become mayor there were two tracks of “Asing as Mayor”- one as to whether he wanted to serve as “temporary” Council appointed mayor until Dec 1 and the other as to whether he would run in the fall election for mayor for the next two years... And of course the discussion of whether the incumbency of the “temp” mayor position would influence the whole mess- which was Joann’s obsessive downfall yesterday.

But what I made clear is that it was “a natural” for Asing to do what he has done- take the temp position but not run for mayor in the election but rather return to the council for the many reasons I stated.

Actually the surprise is that he has apparently said or intimated that he will retire after the ‘08-‘10 term.

And as to county manager- well it seems our Kaipo thinks he is one- a Mayor and Council chair at the same time.

Anonymous said...

county manager: see its working; no lawsuits so far and the trash is still being picked up. yeah kaipo