Kauaʻi County Council – Time Sensitive – Action Needed!

It seems the rush is on to fill the seat being vacated by former Councilmember Luke Evslin, who was recently appointed to the State House of Representatives.

Apparently, Council Chair Mel Rapozo wants to do this Wednesday, February 22 at 11:30am, 7 days after the public was made aware of the vacancy.

So, if you were considering putting your name forward to be considered, or perhaps you know of others that would make a positive addition and bring new energy and new ideas to the Council – sorry but it’s too late.

I guess the idea of informing the community, inviting those that might be interested to submit an application, doing some one-on-one interviewing, then scheduling a meeting to allow the public to comment – and then and only then hold a vote to select the candidate who rose to the top – I guess this idea somehow got lost in the rush to appoint the person who already has the votes locked down?

Similarly, I’m thinking that a thoughtful evaluation of the current strengths and weakness of the existing Council and attempting to find a candidate that could complement and/or fill in the gaps – this idea also has apparently been disregarded.

Actually, I agree that the Council should not waste everyone’s time and act like this is an open process, that all interested people are welcome to apply, and all will be evaluated based on criteria that places only the best interests of the County first.

Because clearly that is not the case.

I’m guessing that the Chair and a majority on the Council are thinking that former Councilmember Ross Kagawa has already got the votes locked up so why bother with the process?

Kagawa finished #8 in the recent elections and that will no doubt be the criteria used to justify his selection. He has served on the Council in the past, is familiar with the process, and is thus qualified to serve.

That is all true and the former Councilmember may very well be the best choice, especially when no other choices are given an honest, clear and open evaluation – let alone the time to actually submit a letter of interest.

To make it happen as quickly (and painlessly) as possible, Council Chair Rapozo scheduled a “Special Council Meeting” for Wednesday 02/22, 7 days after Evslin’s resignation, “to appoint a successor for a vacant unexpired term on the Kauai County Council…”.

According to newspaper reports at the time, when now Representative Nakamura vacated her Council seat on November 1, 2013 then Council Chair Jay Furfaro utilized a process that included one week “so those who are interested can apply”. The following week was then used to “look at the names of people who applied and see who can be nominated…”.

Then two weeks later on November 15, after reviewing several highly qualified applications from a broad cross-section of the community, the remaining 6 Councilmember’s (of which I was a part of) selected now former Councilmember Mason Chock to fill the slot.

That selection was at the time accompanied by its own bit of controversy coming in the days immediately preceding the veto over-ride of Bill 2491.

In retrospect, most would agree this decision turned out to be an excellent one. Councilmember Chock was an exceptional, thoughtful, and hardworking member of the Council and at election time often at the top of the vote count as well. Yet, he had never held public office before and had no experience whatsoever working in government.

Bottom line – There should be an open, and fair – public process that invites all who are interested in filling the open Council position to apply and be honestly evaluated.

Otherwise it’s #politicsasusual

If you believe as I do that jamming through this appointment is not in the best interest of our community, and/or if you have someone else (such as Fern Anuenue Holland or other qualified candidate) you would rather see appointed – please share your thoughts directly with the Councilmembers or show up in the Council Chambers in person at 11:30am Wednesday 02/22.

Complete contact information for all Councilmembers including telephone and email is here:

kkualii@kauai.gov mfrapozo@kauai.gov abulosan@kauai.gov bcarvalho@kauai.gov fcowden@kauai.gov bdecosta@kauai.gov

Please, take ownership of your local government. Share with them your thoughts, concerns, and demands.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) www.hapahi.org I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s