• “How Impact Fees Impact Me”

    With Hawaii County Councilmember Brittany Smart

    and Guest Speaker Councilmember Pete Hoffmann

    Jan. 26, 2011, 7 p.m. Na’alehu Community Center Club House

    Jan. 27, 2011, 7 p.m. Pahala Community Center Club House

    Feb. 9, 2011, 6:30 p.m. Yano Hall, Kona

    Feb. 10, 2011 7 p.m. Cooper Center, Volcano

    Community meetings have been organized by Smart to assist the public in better understanding impact fees and how legislation will ensure that those responsible for developments will bear a proportionate share of the cost of improvements to our public facilities on the Big Island. Hoffmann will speak on how the proposed impact fee system is designed to enable our County government to impose such fees, the flexibility inherent in this system, how the rates can apply, as well as the constraints of such a capability.  Questions from the audience are most welcomed.  Light pupus and soft drinks will be served.

    Contact Jen Knippling, council aide to Smart, at (808) 961-8536 or district6@co.hawaii.hi.us for more information.

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  • 30 Nov 2010 /  commentary, politics

    If you haven’t had a chance, check out Rob Tucker’s account of the last meeting of this County Council term.  As you know,  Bill 311 is to approve a $56 million bond float pitched by Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration.  Most people, including myself, imagined six council members — J Yoshimoto, Donald Ikeda, Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, Emily Naeole, Guy Enriques, and Kelly Greenwell — would confirm an earlier decision to authorize the sale of bonds for roads, parks, housing and waste disposal projects scattered throughout the island.

    Apparently, there were two motions for reconsiderations put forth:  one from Ikeda, of Hilo, for Bill 311 to be reconsidered today and one from Dominic Yagong, of Hamakua, to be reconsidered on Dec. 15 — after three new council members come aboard and a new Council majority takes effect.

    Here is how Tucker described the meeting:

    “About 35 people testified including me for FoPF. The majority testified to either not borrow money (The Conservative Forum for example) or for the public to be allowed public hearings (FoPF’s position). A motion was made for public hearings. In discussion it became apparent that Emily Naeole was backing off of Bill 311 in favor of allowing the public – and the incoming council – to have input and carry the ball. Guy Enriques once again was intent on listening to those invisible people who speak to him louder than the testifying public. He was against public hearings as usual. Kelly Greenwell considers the measure as stimulus package and the role of the county to take responsibility for job creation. He didn’t need public hearings. With Hoffman, Yagong, Naeole and Ford in favor of public hearings it looked like a winner. Then…
    Kenneth Goodenough, county clerk, announced that in his reading of the rules it would take a five vote majority to approval a motion for public hearings. This was news to just about everybody in the chamber. Brenda Ford called for a 5 minute break to consult the rules and on returning disputed the clerk’s position. This left it up to J Yoshimoto who decided to side with the clerk for a five vote majority requirement on public hearings.
    So roll was called. It quickly lined up as four to four. To most everyone’s surprise Yoshimoto voted aye in favor of public hearings and with that the session was over.”

    I too wonder how Goodenow came up with the rule that there needed to be five votes for a motion for a public hearing.  I thought there needed to be three votes.

    With the surprise vote from Yoshimoto in favor of a public hearing, there was applause from the audience and, after the meeting, Tucker, who can be thought of as a thorn in the side of the County of Hawaii, personally thanked both Naeole and Yoshimoto for their surprise positions.

    It really sounds like today was one of the best meeting days of what generally has been a train wreck of a Council term.  
    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 24 Nov 2010 /  commentary, Guest cartoon, politics

    Tom Lackey cartoon

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  • 07 Nov 2010 /  commentary, Guest cartoon, politics

    "We're Off To See The Mayor" by Tom Lackey

    … Dominic Yagong.

    He was first elected to the Hawaii County Council to represent Hamakua in 1996, so I personally believe it is about time Yagong serve as chairman.  His vice chairman will be Pete Hoffmann, of Kohala. Fitting, since Hoffmann lost his chairmanship to soon-to-be former Puna Councilwoman Emily Naeole in highly controversial Council reorganization last year.

    The new leadership was decided at a meeting in Kona with the new Council majority today, Yagong told the Big Island Chronicle.  Present were Yagong, Brenda Ford, of South Kona, Angel Pilago, of North Kona, Hoffmann, Brittany Smart, newly elected to represent Upper Puna, Ka’u and South Kona, and Fred Blas, newly elected to represent Lower Puna. The new Council is sworn into office on Dec. 6.

    Ford will chair the Finance Committee and Yagong will serve as that committee’s vice chair.  This is also fitting, since Yagong lost chairmanship of the Finance Committee in last year’s reorganization.

    Hoffmann will chair the Planning Committee and Pilago will serve as that committee’s vice chair. Hoffmann will chair Housing and Blas will serve as that committee’s vice chair.

    Smart will serve as the chair of Environmental Management and Pilago will serve as that committee’s vice chair.

    New committees were decided upon at today’s meeting, including the Human Services, Social Services and Public Safety Committee, of which Pilago will serve as chair and J Yoshimoto, the soon-to-be unseated Council Chairman, has been asked to serve as the committee’s chair. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 04 Nov 2010 /  commentary, Guest cartoon, politics

    Tom Lackey cartoon

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  • 02 Nov 2010 /  commentary, politics

    Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann (L), Councilwoman-elect Brittany Smart, State Sen. Josh Green, and Councilman-elect Angel Pilago. Photo by John Wicart.

    Clearly, with the election of Brittany Smart to the Hawaii County Council, the leadership amongst council members will change.  That will have a ripple effect throughout the entire County Clerk’s Office. A new Council chairman will mean a new County Clerk and a new deputy County Clerk.  It might also mean a broad-sweeping change in much of the appointed staff, since the Council chairman appoints most of them.  Having received this photo recently of Smart posing with Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann, Kona Councilman-elect Angel Pilago, and State Sen. Josh Green, I have to wonder, who will be the next Council chairman.  I’m convinced, it’s going to be either Angel Pilago or Dominic Yagong.  My prediction is that Yagong will be chairman and Pilago will serve as vice chairman.  The rest, including who they choose for Clerk and deputy Clerk, remains to be seen.  What do you think? Any predictions yourself?

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  • 02 Nov 2010 /  commentary, politics

    Newly elected Councilwoman Brittany Smart, representing Upper Puna, Ka'u and South Kona, poses with newly elected Governor Neil Abercrombie (D), State Sen. Josh Green (D), and newly elected Lieutenant Gov. Brian Schatz (D). Â (Photo courtesy of Shannon Rudolph.)

    What’s interesting to me is that, in the photo above, State Sen. Josh Green poese with candidates that prevailed in the General Election tonight. Recently, Incumbent Guy Enriques held a rally in Pahala that was reportedly attended by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, Hilo Councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, and Mayor Billy Kenoi. When I heard that those three were in attendance. I had to wonder, what the three of them would do should Smart and not Enriques prevail in this election. Now I wonder what sort of courtesy they will extend to Smart, with her defeating the candidate they supported. Inouye, Onishi and Kenoi eat crow on this one.  Smart, meanwhile, has proven to be smart, aligning with the Kona senator and the newly elected governor and lieutenant governor.  We shall see how that plays out for her district.

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  • 02 Nov 2010 /  commentary, Guest Columns, politics

    By Steve Offenbaker

    With a little time on my hands before we get returns I decided to put my completely unscientific election projections down in writing.

    Nationally the GOP is going to take the house and end the reign of Speaker Pelosi. On the Senate side, I think the Democrats will keep a slim majority but Harry Reid will lose in Nevada, should this be the case I wonder is the senate president pro temp Dan Inouye will be in line for majority leader?

    The result of this election will be governmental gridlock as the House won’t be able to get much done with the house being GOP and the Senate being controlled by the dems. It will be 2012 before the mess gets sorted out.

    In Hawaii, the race for the states chief executive is very close and very interesting. I’ll be the first to admit I’m biased in this race, not to party but to the people. Duke Aiona is a good man. He is not a politician but a committed servant to the public, serving as a prosecutor, a judge, a drug court judge (in fact he was the first one), and then as LG. He is the only candidate in the race with any executive experience. I think he is best equipped to lead us as we work to improve the economy in Hawaii. Lynn Finnegan is a superstar in my mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • 12 Oct 2010 /  Island Events, news, politics

    Guy Enriques

    Brittany Smart

    Hear Hawaii County Council District 6 candidates incumbent Guy Enriques and challenger Brittany Smart together on the radio on the weekly broadcast Island Issues, with host Sherry Bracken on Sunday morning, Oct. 17, 2010, at 6:30 a.m. on KKOA 107.7 fm, 8 a.m. on LAVA 105.3 fm, and online at 8 a.m., www.lava105.com.

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  • 11 Oct 2010 /  commentary, Live Blogging, politics

    Guy Enriques

    Councilman Guy Enriques, who represents Upper Puna, Ka’u and South Kona, will sit on the Big Island Chronicle “Hot Seat” at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010.  Enriques’ contender in the upcoming General Election, Brittany Smart, was on the BIC “Hot Seat” on Saturday.

    Enriques and I will sit at the Short and Sweet Cafe in Hilo and, you, the reader, will sit at home, at a friend’s house, or at a coffee shop and interact with Enriques and I via the blog for one hour.  You can ask your questions then, or you can ask them now in comments on this thread.  Whatever questions Enriques does not get to in that hour frame, he will have the option of submitting answers later.  Please keep your questions focused on issues that are within the purview of the Hawaii County Council.

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  • 09 Oct 2010 /  commentary, Guest cartoon, politics

    Tom Lackey cartoon

    I found Tom Lackey, widely known as “The Lack,” to be quite amusing.  Above is his latest cartoon, which he also posted on his blog here. He reports that between now and the General Election, he will pull out the crystal ball and pencil a cartoon predicting who at the State and County level will win election bids.  “The swami that I have tooned here knows all and gives me an insight to what is really going on behind closed doors. He is a flat-ass genius and has never failed me yet,” Lackey writes.  Time will tell how accurate is his fortune telling.

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  • 09 Oct 2010 /  Live Blogging, politics

    Tiffany Edwards Hunt (L) and Brittany Smart waiting for the Big Island Chronicle “Hot Seat” forum to start at noon, today, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010.

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  • Brittany Smart with Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie in Kona. Photo courtesy of Shannon Rudolph.

    Remember, Hawaii County Council District 6 candidate Brittany Smart has agreed to help premiere the Big Island Chronicle’s (BIC) “Hot Seat.” Log on to BIC at noon, tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 and engage in an hour-long chat online with Smart. Ask her questions and receive instant answers.

    So far the following questions have been submitted in anticipation of Saturday’s online chat:

    (From thatduderj)  “Ms. Smart, your education and background with the community is impressive. However, do you feel your youth and …. for lack of a better term “inexperience” in some areas of county politics are an asset or a liability if you were elected to the council ?”

    (From Michael) “Ms Smart, What is your stance on marajuana?”

    If you have a prior engagement and won’t be able to log on on the go from your iPhone,  submit your questions here now and they will be asked and answered some time in the hour-long online chat.

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  • Mark your calendar for noon, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. Council District 6 candidate Brittany Smart has agreed to be the first on Big Island Chronicle's "Hot Seat."

    Inspired by the former Honolulu Advertiser’s “On The Hot Seat,” Big Island Chronicle will commence a “Hot Seat” virtual political forum in coming weeks.  What that means is that a politician, political candidate or notable figure in our island community will be asked to sit for an hour with me, Tiffany Edwards Hunt, and field questions from Big Island Chronicle readers via the blog. In anticipation of two runoffs at the County Council level in the General Election, I have extended invitations to Council District 5 Incumbent Emily Naeole-Beason; Naeole-Beason’s contender, Fred Blas; Council District 6 Incumbent Guy Enriques; and Enriques’ contender, Brittany Smart.  To date, Smart has been the only political candidate to respond and to accept the invitation.

    Smart’s “Hot Seat” with the Big Island Chronicle will be held at noon, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010.  She and I will sit at the Hilo Coffee Mill and, you, the reader, will sit at home, at a friend’s house, or at a coffee shop and interact with Smart and I via the blog for one hour.  You can ask your questions then, or you can ask them now in comments on this thread.  Whatever questions Smart does not get to in that hour frame, she will have the option of submitting answers later.  I ask that you keep your questions focused on issues that are within the purview of the Hawaii County Council.

    Mahalo to Smart for being so open to being on the Hot Seat and to interact with the public in such a format.  Mahalo, also, to Hilo Coffee Mill, which will facilitate the space for the forum.  Hilo Coffee Mill co-owner Katherine Patton emphasizes that, in holding the space for this “Hot Seat” or any other down the road, neither she or Hilo Coffee Mill is endorsing a particular candidate or taking a stand on a particular issue.  Hilo Coffee Mill is, quite simply, hosting us.  I am only telling you where we will be, so you can envision where we are going to be.  You don’t really have to show up.  You are encouraged to participate via cyberspace.  But please do patronize Hilo Coffee Mill.  What a great place in Upper Puna to get  a cup of coffee, egg sandwich (the Mill Works is the bomb diggity), or a dozen free-range eggs from chickens you can see roaming all over the Mill grounds.

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  • 18 Sep 2010 /  commentary, Live Blogging, politics

    A look at the numbers on the third and final printout shows Fred Blas leading the race for Council District 5 over Incumbent Emily Naeole-Beason. Votes cast were 1,496 votes to 1,320 votes, meaning Blas and Naeole-Beason will have a runoff in the General.
    Similarly, In Council District 6, Incumbent Guy Enriques will face Brittany Smart in the General, with Smart receiving 1,657 votes and Enriques receiving 1,506 votes.
    In Council District 6, it looks like Angel Pilago will have a runoff with Debbie Hecht. Pilago, in the end, received 1,707 votes, or 46 percent of the votes cast. He need 50 percent plus one to succeed in the Primary. Hecht received 691 votes, Rath received 604 votes, and Imcumbent Kelly Green received 333 votes.
    Incumbents Pete Hoffmann, Brenda Ford, and Donald Ikeda succeeded over their challengers, winning the Primary outright with 50 percent plus one.
    J Yoshimoto, Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, and Dominic Yagong all were unchallenged in the Primary, but had enough blank votes cast to indicate some voter dissatisfaction and the possibility that a challenger could have given them runoffs in the General.
    On the State Legislature side, all democratic incumbents succeeded the Primary and will face off with their Republican challengers.
    In Puna, State Representative District 4 Incumbent Faye Hanohano narrowly succeeded Anthony Marzi. The votes were 2,296 to 2,183, with 354 blank votes cast.
    Although the County has a higher than ever voter registration count at 100,061 voters, only 39 percent voted in this election.

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  • 18 Sep 2010 /  commentary, Live Blogging, politics

    First returns are in and the results are already showing a few potential run offs in Hawaii County on the county council side, In District 5, Fred Blas is leading incumbent Emily Naeole-Beason, with 402 votes to 293 votes.
    In District 6, incumbent Guy Enriques has 491 votes with Brittany Smart trailing right behind him with 392 votes.
    In Kona, Angel Pilago is leading the race at 627 votes. Incumbent Kelly Greenwell has less than 200 votes.
    Trailing behind Pilago is Debbie Hecht with 329 votes.
    Most interesting for state representative is that incumbent Faye Hanohano is neck and neck with fellow Democrat Anthony Marzi — by two votes! Hanohano leads by 573 votes and Marzi has 571 votes.
    Dr. Neil Abercrombie is not only leading state wide for the governor’s seat, but also in Hawaii County with 7,099 votes. Mufi has 5,244 votes.
    Keep in mind, these numbers are reflecting absentee and early walk-in voting, so the night is young.

    Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    (808)938-8592
    Newswoman@Mac.com
    Www.bigislandchronicle.com

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