GUEST COLUMN — Vote No On Resolution 66-09, A Call For Statewide Collaboration On A ‘Single Solid Waste Proposal’

(James Weatherford lives in Hawaii because he loves it.  This is the second time he has lived here and this time it is by design and with dedication. From the time he left Hawaii in 1975 to his and his wife Elizabeth’s permanent return in 2001, he studied, received university degrees, and worked in various aspects of agriculture. A former legislative aide to then-Councilman Bob Jacobson, James Weatherford is interested in island politics but his heart lies with his and Elizabeth’s organic farm in Puna.)

The first item on the Council’s Agenda in Kona, 9 a.m. (next) Wednesday, May 6, 2009, is Resolution 66-09.

The title of the Resolution indicates the intended outcome is for all four Counties, “Hawai`i, Maui, Kauai, and the City and County of Honolulu, to collaborate and pursue a single solid waste proposal.”

I am urging my Council member and all members of the Council to vote NO on Resolution 66-09, because in both intent and content I find it without merit. 

First, the relationship between Resolution 66-09 and the County’s 2009 update of the State-mandated Integrated Resource (formerly Solid Waste) Management Plan is not even mentioned as having a bearing. 

Next, while there are many assertions in the “Whereas” clauses, there is no evidence to support those assertions. This concerns me. Besides it simply not being good government to make policy on unfounded assertions, it would seem plausible that some very good evidence will be necessary to attract the billions of Federal dollars that are touted by Resolution 66-09.

Finally, Environmental Management Director Lono Tyson, at the Council’s April 22 meeting, was asked what he thought about Resolution 66-09. Lono was diplomatic. He did not reject it as I do. Neither did he embrace the concept. Lono did indicate that he looked favorably on “discussion.” I very much like that idea.

However, Resolution 66-09 does not call for discussion among the counties about possible common interests and opportunities for mutual benefit. Rather, it says just do it!

No evidence. No plan. No discussion. Just do it!

As an additional note, during Council deliberation of Resolution 66-09, there has been reference made to a ‘mirror’ resolution from Oahu. Comments from a Council Legislative Assistant were forwarded to me in email communication from a blogger on the island. Those comments referred to the so-called ‘mirror’ Resolution and made a couple of gross misrepresentations about what was (or not) in each of the Resolutions.

This is a link to the ‘mirror’ Resolution:,%20CD1.pdf

I have taken the opportunity to carefully read and compare the two Resolutions — the original, ‘mirror’ Resolution from Oahu and Hawaii County Resolution 66-09  — and will be addressing that comparison in my own testimony next Wednesday. So, I will not elaborate on that here and now. Instead, I strongly encourage anyone who places importance on the kind of words we say and write for any purpose, and certainly for government policy, to have a look. If so inclined, let us know, here, what you find. If you would like to submit testimony to the County Council do so via email at

James Weatherford 

2 replies
  1. harley charlie
    harley charlie says:

    A cleverly written resolution. On the surface it appears to be ‘environmentally friendly’ BUT in fact it I’d bet is a dumping ground resolution with the biggest winners Young Brothers (maybe a big assumption) and who ever currently owns the land. A typical “Big Hawaii State Government Solution”. I’d suggest we all watch very carefully any politician that supports this.

  2. James Weatherford
    James Weatherford says:

    Well, Resolution was passed by a 7 -2 vote.
    YES: Greenwell, Hoffmann, Yoshimoto, Ford, Onishi, Ikeda, Enriquez
    NO: Naeole, Yagong

    The last word? Of course not. There will be, unfortunately, be further opportunities, one day at a time, for dealing with the lack of integrity and dishonesty that showed itself in this morning’s Council deliberations and voting.
    Meanwhile, here is my response to that vote, sent to all Council members:
    “Aloha Council Members,
    By way of passing Resolution 66-09, the Hawaii County Council has, for the first time I am aware of, passed legislation that is based principally on exposed fabrications and untruths, because that is indeed what Resolution 66-09 is based on.
    Many of the statements in Resolution 66-09 are simply not true – saying them, writing them, and voting for them does not change their falsity.
    By acting in such a manner, the 7 ‘yes’ votes have established a precedent that sets a very low standard for veracity of legislation.
    Truth and honesty have been voted against, while fabrication and dishonesty have been deemed acceptable by 7 of 9 members.
    During deliberation, a few members tried to cast Resolution 66-09 as only about “discussion.” This is another falsehood. Nowhere in Resolution 66-09 does the word “discussion”, or any reasonable synonym, appear. Discussion is not what this Resolution is about — saying it does not make it so.
    Furthermore, at no time did anyone oppose “discussions” with other counties or the State, despite innuendo by at least one Council member.
    I hold out hope that future Council actions will not be based on fabrication and dishonesty, as the Council has clearly done in the case of Resolution 66-09.
    However, as is learned through life’s lessons, and as we now see taking place with regard to policy as proposed in Resolution 66-09, one lie begets another.
    Please do not continue to lower your standards for integrity and honesty.”

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