Monday, January 4, 2010


LOOK OUT KID, THEY KEEP IT ALL HID: Tomorrow is restocking day for Kaua`i Boards and Commissions (B&Cs), as the county council will quasi-secretly- in an open meeting that won’t be televised- prepare to rubber stamp twenty new B&C members, selected not as much for their expertise as for their ability to bend over when the administration demands it.

As we wrote a couple of weeks ago, rather than televise these interviews the council prefers to spend the money to televise themselves patting each other on the back for presenting “certificates” honoring everyone and anyone that accomplished some minor feat, especially those with big families who vote.

We also told readers about a charter provision prohibiting a majority of any particular board from being members of any one political party and how it may take on new meaning with the slew of new members of the Democratic Party- a number that, according to one democrat in the know, went from 38 to around 4,000 on Kaua`i- that joined to vote in the Obama-Clinton “primary” held by the party last year.

In light of Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s big show of joining the Democratic Party last year and his well document penchant for selecting political cronies and sycophants to B&Cs you’d think the council would look carefully for that when confirming his nominations so as not to run afoul of the law.

But while the “application” to be a B&C member asks about party affiliation apparently the council isn’t privy to the official list of members of political parties on Kaua`i even though they are sworn to uphold the county charter.

As a mater of fact, we’ve learned that as of the date of the agenda posting, the council apparently did not have the applications in their possession- and we have no reason to believe that will change by the official confirmation time.

But even worse is that when these people file before the council tomorrow the council will definitely not have the basic information these people will swear to in their public disclosure forms that list potential conflicts of interest as well as financial information

That’s because, by tradition, those disclosure forms aren’t given to the council at all much less before the interviews but rather go to the Board of Ethics (BOE), which until recently had never publicly released any of the public disclosure statements.

The councilmembers will try to tell us they are doing their job thoroughly when they interview the 20 prospective B&C members tomorrow – as they have in the past- saying “trust us” rather than showing us.

But the question remains- how can they possibly say they do a thorough job of vetting these nominees when they don’t have any of the basic documents needed to do so.

Though the interviews are tomorrow, the actual appointments will happen during the regular council meeting Wednesday, when council watchdog Rob Abrew has told us he will challenge the council on both the issue of party membership and the lack of disclosure forms.

We fully expect the council to follow their usual M.O. and fully ignore Abrew with, at best, a “thank you- next?” and at worst a double-talking, intimidation, “how dare you impugn our integrity” attack after Abrew is sent back to his seat.

The council loves to blame the administration when any boondoggle or other B&C related corrupt scheme is revealed- usually by member of the public at televised meetings- and make up some cockamamie story about why they are blameless.

We’d estimate that at least 50% of the corruption on Kaua`i involves the active or passive complicity of people like those who will be interviewed tomorrow and confirmed Wednesday. Remember that and the council’s “ainokea” actions next time they whine that they have no control and “it’s the administration” that is responsible for B&C activity .

For the record, here are the twenty interviewees:

•Lisa Wilson -Term ending 12/3112012
•Russell Kyono -Term ending 12/3112011 (replacing Richard Koenig Jr.)

•Roy Asao Oyama -Term ending 12/3112012

Dennis Aquino, Fire designation -Term ending 12/3112011
Gerald T. Nakasone, At-Large -Term ending 12/3112012
Lawrence J. Dill, Engineer designation -Term ending 12/3112012

Warren Perry -Term ending 12/3112012
Brad Nagano -Term ending 12/3112012

Roy Morita -Term ending 12/3112012

•Lawrence Chaffin, Jr. -Term ending 12/3112010 (replacing Nadine Nakamura)
•Dirk Apao -Term ending 12/3112012
•Linda Faye Collins -Term ending 12/3112011 (replacing Lorna A. Nishimitsu)

FIRE COMMISSION: ·Jan Rudinoff -Term ending 12/3112012
•Basilio Fuertes, Jr. -Term ending 12/3112012

•Gerald Shigemi Matsunaga -Term ending 12/3112012

•Camilla Chieko Matsumoto, At-large designation -Term ending 12/3112012

Rowena Tachibana -Term ending 12/3112012
George Tiffany -Term ending 12/3112012

•Charles King -Term ending 12/3112011 (replacing Tom Cooper)
•Sheri S. Kunioka-Volz -Term ending 12/3112010 (replacing Dawn Murata)
•William Dahle -Term ending 12/3112012

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