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Did the Hawaii County Council Break the Sunshine Law… Again?

I read an interesting email today and I’ll just post a snippet on my blog:

…While in attendance on Wednesday, May 5, for the discussion of bill 250, a point was made by a Mr. Reece {?} when he gave public testimony. Prior to his testimony, he’d gone to the Council office and asked for a copy of the Building Code, 5.2, referenced in the title of bill 250. When he received the copy of the referenced code, there was no apparent relationship between the amendments to that code and bill 250. The actual amendments were to Ordinance 09-48, which ostensibly would become law, if no further action was taken to negate it, on May 11, 2010. But, as of May 5, what he was handed bore no relevance to the section referenced in the title. Thus, his ability to make public testimony in a timely fashion was impeded on May 5. Instead of dealing with the bill itself, the thrust of his testimony to the council that day was his inability to walk in and ask for a copy of the law that was being amended and receiving it. Whether one calls it an infringement on the Freedom of Information Act or the Sunshine Law, as a citizen of this county, he could not secure information with relevance to Bill 250; thus, his freedom to address any concerns, or even to support the bill were significantly impeded…

Is there anyone that may have attended this meeting that can explain what might be going down soon with the council?

It’s my understanding that the entire council voted on this bill except for Councilwoman Naeole, therefore if there was a Sunshine Law Violation… Could she also be held in violation since she did not vote on the matter?

3 Responses

  1. Not only do counties get away with staying in the dark. It seems that things in government are getting harder to find info on as time goes on.

  2. So, Reece requested a copy of a specific document, and he was provided the document he requested, but the bill though that document was connected to actually amends a different ordnance which Reece did not request. So, this is a Sunshine Law violation how, exactly?

    It’s definitely confusing, and it sounds to me like a poorly written bill, but not a Sunshine Law violation.

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