By Rod ThompsonÂ
Â A group ofÂ ParadiseÂ ParkÂ property owners has formally requested an explanation of the unusual circumstances of the hiring of the new general manager of the Owners Association. One also gave the
Association ten days to provide answers, coinciding with the General Meeting coming Sunday, June 28, 2009.
Â Â Â Â Â Kaniu Kinimaka-Stocksdale was selected May 20 in a closed-door executive session from amongst at least seven candidates while she also headed the selection committee.
Â Â Â Â Â Her selection followed her failure during the preceding three months to carry out any activities as chairman of the Nominating Committee which was supposed to find candidates for the Association board. The effect was to guarantee that two current board members had no opposition.
Â Â Â Â Â At the Wednesday, June 18 Board of Directors meeting, former board member Barbara Kahn-Langer presented a two-page statement of questions and told the board she wanted it included verbatim in the minutes of the meeting.
Â Â Â Â In the statement, Kahn-Langer referred to Kinimaka-Stocksdaleâ€™s failure to carry out her Nominating Committee duties and to her dual role of general manager applicant and selection committee chair. Kahn-Langer also said she was told there were seven â€œstrong applicantsâ€ for the post, and asked if any of them were interviewed.
Â Â Â Frank Annin, acting chairman of the board, tried to squelch Kahn-Langerâ€™s presentation, telling her three-fourths of the way through it that her three-minute time to speak was up.
Â Â Â Â Â However, Merrill â€œSkipâ€ McAlister rose and continued reading where Kahn-Langer left off.
Â Â Â Â Â â€œSo you guys have some questions to answer,â€ McAlister concluded. â€œIâ€™m giving you people ten days to disclose your criteria (for selecting Kinimaka-Stocksdale).â€
Â Â Â Ten days would put the time for an answer at the General Membership meeting of the Association scheduled forÂ 3 p.m.Â Sunday, June 28, at the Association building.
Â Â Â Â Â When Annin imposed the three-minute rule on Kahn-Langer, he said he had no choice because the limit is in the rules. However, he did not impose the limit on any other speaker that evening, such as a man making a presentation on a weed cutter.
Â Â Â Â Since only four board members were present, Annin also declared that four members would be enough for a quorum because the board currently only has seven members. The board normally has nine members, and a normal quorum is five. The Association Bylaws do not provide for any exception to the normal quorum.
Â Â Â Â In aÂ Â prior meeting, Annin blocked discussion of a remedy for Kinimaka-Stocksdaleâ€™s failure to do the work of the Nominating Committee. He quoted a section of Roberts Rules of Order appearing to block action, even though the section clearly provided for action in case of urgency. With the work of the Nominating Committee long overdue, the urgency should have been apparent.
Â Â Â Â Â At the June 18 meeting, the board revealed that Kinimaka-Stocksdale is being paid $25,000 for a six-month contract, equivalent to $50,000 a year. That is less than the previous manager, fired without explanation in April. But unlike the previous manager, Kinimaka-Stocksdaleâ€™s duties do not include bookkeeping.
(Former Honolulu Star-Bulletin Big Island Bureau Chief Rod Thompson is a fellow Big Island Press Club member, mentor and friend to the Big Island Chronicle editor.)