Wednesday, July 28, 2010


BUST: After Joan Conrow’ report yesterday regarding the triple-teaming full court press by County Attorney Al Castillo’s deputies, it wasn’t surprising that the recipient of the home visit, Dickie Chang, called her at a quarter to seven this morning to give what she called his side of the story.

But as usual, Dickie’s motor mouth probably only got him in deeper kim chee and, perhaps unintentionally, telegraphed his vote.

The usually clueless Chang didn’t disappoint. Right off the bat he told Joan:

“It is true that the attorneys came over, but I didn’t think it was wrong," Dickie said. "I talked to the Chair [Kaipo Asing] about it. I told Jay [Furfaro]. I told everyone. They had their concerns, but I didn’t think I did anything wrong....

“I understand the sunshine law as it pertains to Council members. I just felt it [the meeting with attorneys] was harmless. Maybe that has something to do with my inexperience, but I am entitled to ask an attorney for their opinion.”

You do understand it Dickie? Apparently not since you were even warned by Furfaro and Asing- who are usually sunshine law challenged themselves- but went ahead with the meeting anyway.

Apparently Chang suspected and sensed something was wrong but blew off concerns, not even checking with the Office of Information Practices (OIP) to find out.

But perhaps more revealing is this quote:

“People need to understand this is normal within the county. Anybody can call and within six hours ask you to meet for an appointment. And when an agenda item is up for a vote, Public Works can call to meet with us, Planning, Public Safety.

As we said yesterday many suspect that the ban on “serial” communications to avoid the sunshine law’s prohibition of three or more councilmembers from deliberating toward a decision (outside the confines of a duly agendaed item at a meeting) is flouted all the time by councilmembers without a second thought.

But Chang confirms that this is “normal within the county”, explaining why many times items come up and every councilperson is already “on the same page” having essentially discussed the item via third parties in the administration.

Another quote was quite the head-scratcher. Asked about Mel Rapozo’s request for an investigation we reported yesterday.

“I don’t believe I did anything wrong and I don’t know what an investigation would uncover,” he said. “They weren’t trying to influence me, they were not influencing me, they were not telling me how to vote."

Then what the heck were they there for? To watch American Idol?

Either Dickie is too naive to know when he’s being lobbied and “influenced” or the trio just happened to call, stop by and get into a discussion of the bill.

What is it with these people that makes them seemingly incapable of adhering to the spirit – or sometimes letter- of the sunshine law and doing intra-county business in an open meeting in full public view?

Chang by the way has once again claimed that, for purposes of the ballot this year again. his nickname- according to law the name he is commonly called- is coincidentally the name of his business, “Wala`au”,

Finally his last quote reveals how he will vote today if the matter isn’t deferred again.

"I'm pissed off about this issue [vacation rentals] and a lot of other people are, too. But there needs to be a process. We've stopped the bleeding, but now we've got to set things right. It's like BP. You cap the well, but you've still got to clean up the mess. So we'll see how it goes today at Council."

Set things right?

Well, maybe it is like the gulf spill because if the bill is passed it will be a gusher of abuse of process and law, polluting the north shore and other areas for perhaps decades to come.

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