Monday, March 7, 2011


BLOWVIATIN' IN THE WIND: Was anyone really expecting that Council Chair Jay Furfaro would keep his promise to have information "in seven days" on what appeared to be a "settlement" which "extracted $250,000" from the county related to windbourne trash from the Kekaha landfill causing white spot disease at the adjacent shrimp farm?

We didn't think so but there's always one....

As we reported a week ago, as part of the paperwork on Bill #2397 appropriating $417,000 for the landfill, the Department of Public Works' Solid Waste Division cryptically revealed that:

The Shrimp Farm extracted approximately $250,000 to provide assurance that the white spot syndrome would be mitigated flying trash within there (sic) property and laying (sic) in their ponds that could potentially lead to the spread of the disease. The cost of mitigation beyond the settlement is questionable as well as the negative publicity that could have a direct impact on our future landfill siting efforts.(emphases added).

Despite Furfaro's promise seven days later, when the bill came up on last week's agenda, Furfaro once more balked at revealing too much about it saying he wasn't even sure whether there was, in fact, any money paid.

What he did reveal was that the matter was the subject of three different closed door, executive sessions (ES) of the council back in 2009- on Sept. 23rd , Oct. 7th and Oct. 14th.

But although the county's on-line archive of agendas does not go back that far, the actual notices from those agenda's- which Furfrao handed out at the meeting- don't mention any "claims" or "lawsuits" or "settlements," only a discussion of issues with the landfill.

Now Furfrao promises to have "more information" in ten more days which, to no one's surprise, would put any revelation three days after next Wednesday's expected second and final reading of Bill #2397- after which the matter will not appear on any future agendas.

Although Furfrao cited the Office of Information Practices (OIP) May 2003 opinion letter No. 03-07 which says that certain decision making can be made in ES, it doesn't include lawsuit settlements and certainly doesn't excuse misleading agendas that fail to mention the discussion of possible claims and/or lawsuits- which appears to be the case here.

The strangest part of this is that Furfaro apparently needs 17 days to find out what council watchdog Glenn Mickens found out in about five minutes with a call to Finance Director Wally Rezentes' office last Friday afternoon.

Mickens simply asked Rezentes if there was a settlement with the shrimp farm and when the office called back just before closing the answer was "no"- there is no record of any payment or settlement.

Mickens and fellow "nitpicker," former council candidate Ken Taylor, who brought the matter to public attention, promise to bring it up again this Wednesday and try to get some answers before it disappears from the council agenda forever.


We are sorry to have to announce that we are going on a curtailed posting schedule for the immediate future. In addition to the onslaught of college basketball tournaments we're also dealing with some other, more personal challenges that have us distracted enough that we feel like our work would suffer if we tried to keep the same schedule. We will be posting- just not five days a week but more intermittently. Please check back often- or use the "RSS feed" or email us at gotwindmills(at)gmail(dot)com to sign up for emailed postings.

We do hope to return to a more regular posting schedule sometime in the future. Thank you all for your incredible support over the last three years.

1 comment:

scotty sagum said...

This what we get when we fail to re-elect thelong time watchdog on the councxil. Kaipo Asing. When Kai was defeated it reminded me of what Governor John Burns warned us of 40 years ago;m mif we don't take charge, outsiders with NO connection or legitimate concern for our community will come in and take over bringing to our shores the very things they were running away from. i do not believe anyone will have the integrity to print this! Scotty Sagum