If you haven’t had a chance, check out Rob Tucker’s account of the last meeting of this County Council term. Â As you know, Â Bill 311 is to approve a $56 million bond float pitched by Mayor Billy Kenoi’s administration. Â Most people, including myself, imagined six council members â€” J Yoshimoto, Donald Ikeda, Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, Emily Naeole, Guy Enriques, and Kelly Greenwell â€” 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: Â 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 â€” 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).Â 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.Â 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.Â 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.Â With Hoffman, Yagong, Naeole and Ford in favor of public hearings it looked like a winner.Â 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. Â 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. Â