***Commentary*** Councilman Kelly Greenwell Featured At Kona Town Meeting Tonight


Kelly Greenwell

Kelly Greenwell

Sorry for the little notice, but I just received word that Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell will speak at a Kona Town Meeting slated for 6 p.m., tonight, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009 at the Old Kona Airport (Make’o Pavilion).  This ought to be an interesting meeting, given all that is going on with council members this term.  Greenwell has proven to be quite a character, with his letter to President Barack Obama calling for Gitmo detainees to be shipped to Hawaii and his publicly made suggestion that a bulldozer be taken to the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA) gate barring shoreline access.  The meeting is worth attending, just for what he might say about the Hawaii County Council in general.  Afterall, Greenwell is a freshman councilor during a Council term that appears to be the worst ever, with a Sunshine Law violation that has led to a civil suit waged by West Hawaii Today newspaper and temporary restraining order issued by Third Circuit Court judge Ronald Ibarra.  If you are in Kona and don’t have plans tonight and you have any interest in local politics, this meeting shouldn’t be missed.

Island News — Hawaii County Council Special Meeting To Rescind Reorganization Is Aug. 4

The Hawaii County Council has announced a special meeting Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2009 to discuss Res. 217-09, which rescinds a June 16, 2009 reorganization. 

The 9 a.m. special meeting will be held in the Council Chambers on the second floor of the Ben Franklin Building. Click here to see the agenda.

Introduced by Council Chair J Yoshimoto, Res. 217-09, “Reverts the Council Vice Chair, Committee Chairs, and Committee Vice Chairs Back to Their Assignments Before the Adoption of Resolution No. 200-09 and 201-09.”

Following the adoption of those resolutions on June 16, 2009, the West Hawaii Today filed a lawsuit against the Hawaii County Council alleging a Sunshine Law violation and calling for the reorganization to be considered null and void.   Read more

*** Commentary *** In ‘Historic Ruling,’ Judge Grants TRO Against Council In Case Alleging Violation Of The Sunshine Law

Judge Ronald Ibarra handed down an order today granting West Hawaii Today’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary junction against the Hawaii County Council.

“This is an historic ruling,” said Kona attorney Robert Kim, who is representing the newspaper in the lawsuit against council members for their apparent violation of the Sunshine Law in a June 16 reorganization.  “It clearly shows that open government is an important function of our democracy; Judge Ibarra validated that.”

Check out  the order granting the TRO and pay particular attention to Judge Ibarra’s “Conclusions Of Law.” Read more

***Commentary*** Very Curious As To How Judge Ibarra Will Rule Today

I am very curious to know how Third Circuit Court Judge Ronald Ibarra will rule on the West Hawaii Today’s temporary restraining order request.  As you know, WHT is suing the Hawaii County Council for its apparent Sunshine Law violation in the June 16 reorganization.  Judge Ronald Ibarra is super cool, very thoughtful and deliberate.  According to WHT’s coverage of yesterday’s TRO hearing, Judge Ibarra asked questions equally between WHT lawyer Robert Kim and Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida. 

“He noted that there’s a big
difference if the actions are
found to be willful, rather
than inadvertent.
‘There is a provision that
makes it a criminal offense
if the conduct is found to be
willful,'” WHT reported Judge Ibarra said.

A lot hinges on the Office of Information Practices opinion.  OIP has to decide if this was a willful or inadvertent Sunshine Law violation.

As for the judge’s ruling today, well that I believe will give us a better indication as to how this is going to play out.