Thursday, July 22, 2010


LOOK OUT KID, THEY KEEP IT ALL HID: The patently illegal transient vacation rental bill passed out of the council planning committee at Wednesday’s Whine-a-Thon, as Joan Conrow so aptly put it today, our brain fut yesterday in saying it was up for final passage this week notwithstanding.

We’ll leave it to Joan’s hilarious-if-it-weren’t-so-pathetic, first-hand reporting to describe the chain of fools who paraded their self-interest before the council because for one brief shining moment we thought the council might actually discuss the blatant illegality- based on state law which they can only dream of changing- of not just ag land TVRs but all those not in proscribed visitor destination areas (VDAs).

Before the procession of TVR-owning snivelers filed up to the hot seat to ignore the law former councilperson and candidate this year Mel Rapozo’s laid out the various regulations in simple terms pointing out a new wrinkle in the Kobayashi opinion and how it applied to state land use laws.

Mel pointed out that Kobayashi essentially said that because TVRs weren’t listed in the county’s comprehensive zoning ordinance (CZO) among the unpermitted uses, they were permitted. But it also warned that it applied to only otherwise legal uses.

But, Rapozo said, HRS 205 does list permitted uses on ag land and not only don’t TVRs appear on the list one sections says that overnight accommodations are forbidden.

He went on to discuss many of the other legalities that don’t take an attorney to read and comprehend and he was so clear that councilmembers actually started to discuss them in open session for the first time rather than sweeping them under the executive session rug as County Attorney Al Castillo has insisted.

When Chair Kaipo Asing started to get into the meat of the legal issues, that was too much for Castillo who, as he is wont to do, unceremoniously interrupted him seeking to take the public policy discussion behind closed doors.

That was when Asing essentially told Castillo to fu*k off saying he was going to discuss his opinion in open session.

It was kind of astonishing especially in that Asing has duplicitously used Castillo’s through-the-looking-glass interpretation of the sunshine law for the last year and a half to halt discussion whenever it’s politically expedient.

But alas that discussion was short lived and once again the council went back to ignoring the law, with Planning Committee Chair Jay Furfaro parrying with anyone who tried to bring it up with his usual misinformation, misrepresentations and misdirections making sure that the message was clear- this is Kaua`i and we only acknowledge state and federal law when it suits us... and we’ve got the circuit court judges these days to back us up.

The bill passed out of committee by a 4-1 vote with Councilperson Derrick Kawakami in opposition and bill author Tim Bynum joining Darryl Kaneshiro and Furfaro in voting to approve it and Lani Kawahara remaining silent and so having her vote count as a “yes” due to council rules that say a silent vote is counted with the majority.

This bill will no doubt pass next Wednesday, most likely by a vote of 4-2 with Asing joining Kawakami and Dickie Chang and, yes, Lani Kawahara supporting Bynum Furfaro and Kaneshiro.

Which means of course that by rushing the measure into passage before November it will insure the two “lame ducks” on the council, Kaneshiro and Kawahara- who are likely to be replaced by two opponent former Councilmembers Rapozo and JoAnn Yukimura- will cast the deciding votes.

If that ain’t reason to sweep all the bums out this year, it’d be hard to know what is.


Anonymous said...

Joy often comes after sorrow, like morning after night.. . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Mel Rapozo said...

We have two more chances to save our Kauai agricultural lands. Next Wednesday, the Council will decide whether to pass the law that will allow vacation rentals on ag lands. It appears that Councilmembers Furfaro, Bynum, Kaneshiro and Kawahara will support the bill. Chair Asing and Councilmember Kawakami will oppose it. Councilmember Chang is undecided as of last night. We need you to call them ASAP.

If the bill passes on Wednesday, we need to encourage the Mayor to VETO the bill. This bill, in addition to being illegal (as stated by the Attorney General), will punish the local ag land owners that have followed the law by not putting rentals on the lands, and reward the illegal operators that have been operating vacation rentals ILLEGALLY on Kauai prior to 2008. Please email me if you need to see the real facts. I can email you all the documents that clearly show that this is an illegal bill.

We need farmers to show up on Wednesday. We need everyone to call or email ALL councilmembers to let them know that this action will not be forgotten.Ag lands on Kauai are in danger. If this bill passes, ag parcels will be mini-resorts. This will effectively destroy the farming industry on Kauai. When we should be helping ag on Kauai, we are killing it with this bill. Please help our ag lands by standing up and being counted.

Last Wednesday, many vacation rental operators testified to the Planning Committee of the Council and gave their sad stories about not bring able to afford their mortgages and taxes. They need this bill to pass so that they can become legal. Some even said that they might have to leave Kauai if this bill doesn't pass. What about the locals that are struggling? Where do they go? We have nowhere to go. The economy is no reason to legalize an activity that is clearly illegal under state law.

Sorry for the ranting but this is a critical issue for the culture of Kauai. We are The Garden Island, not the TVR island. We must preserve ag lands. This bill will change Kauai as we know it. If this bill should pass, we will not be able to unwind the damage that it will instantly create. Trust me on this.

Please call or email Mayor Carvalho and ask him to commit to vetoing this bill should it pass. We need the commitment from our leaders that they will do what is right for the PEOPLE OF KAUAI, nor special interests. Thank you.

Mel Rapozo said...

If there is a question regarding the opinion, why wouldn't the Council seek a Declaratory Relief from the Circuit Court? Why the rush?

Declaratory relief refers to a judgment of a court which determines the rights of parties without ordering anything be done or awarding damages. By seeking a declaratory judgment, the party making the request is seeking for an official declaration of the status of a matter in controversy. Optimally, the resolution of the rights of the parties involved will prevent further litigation.

Make sense? Why not do it? Have deals already been made?