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Councilman Pilago Attends National Association of Counties 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition

Hawai’i County Councilmember K. Angel Pilago joined 1,800 fellow county officials from across the country July 13‐17 to adopt policies and share ideas to help lead the nation toward economic recovery during the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 2012 Annual Conference and Exposition in Allegheny County/Pittsburgh.

NACo’s Annual Conference is the most important gathering of county officials of the year. Decisions made each summer during the conference allow counties to speak with a strong, clear and unified voice to the Administration, Congress and the American people on issues ranging from transportation infrastructure, access to health care, and court and jail systems.

Pilago said the conference was productive and informative. “We are not alone in the challenges we are facing here at home to deliver services and programs during these tough economic times,” Councilmember Pilago said. “Only by talking with our fellow county officials sharing best practices and practical solutions will we be able to kick‐start our economy.

NACo’s educational workshops are a terrific vehicle for that interaction and engagement. “The bottom line is that while recovery begins here at the county level, the federal government must be on the same page as us,” Pilago said. “That’s why our involvement in NACo is so important. It’s our voice in Washington.”

NACo President Lenny Eliason, Commissioner, Athens County, Ohio, said the nation’s counties are deeply concerned about funding for a variety of federal programs, which directly affect counties and communities and new federal regulations under consideration. “The Administration and Congress need to be reminded almost daily how the decisions they make affect us at the county level and the services we provide directly to the American people,” Eliason said. “We work tirelessly all year to preserve local governing authority and caution Washington when they try to shift federal costs onto states and local governments.”

Counties in most states are responsible for providing essential services to communities, including maintaining roads and bridges, operating airports and other transit systems, delivering critical health care services, providing law enforcement, courtroom and jail services, funding schools, and numerous human services for seniors, children and families. Counties are the first line of defense for natural disaster emergencies and pandemic preparedness and response.

During the Annual Conference in Pittsburgh, county officials through NACo’s 11 policy steering committees set the county agenda and legislative priorities for 2012‐13 so counties can speak with one voice before the Administration and Congress. Issues addressed included budget and revenue; rural and urban development, green government; transportation; public safety; emergency preparedness and response; housing and more.

Policy resolutions adopted at the conference will be posted soon at www.naco.org. Conference participants also attended a variety of educational workshop sessions to gain greater understanding of issues affecting county government and how many counties are finding innovative, cost‐effective way to provide services and programs.

During Tuesday’s Election of Officers and Business meeting, NACo membership elected and installed its 2012‐13 officers: President: Chris Rodgers, Commissioner, Douglas County, Neb.; First Vice President: Linda Langston, Supervisor, Linn County, Iowa; Second Vice President: G. Riki Hokama, Council Member, Maui County, Hawaii; and Immediate Past President Lenny Eliason, Commissioner, Athens County, Ohio. On Monday, President Eliason announced that Matthew D. Chase has been named the association’s new Executive Director. He will replace the retiring Larry E. Naake this fall.

Chase joins NACo from the National Association of Development Organizations (NADO), which represents the nation’s local government‐based regional planning and development organizations. He has served as NADO’s Executive Director since 2003 and was previously the Director of Legislative Affairs and Deputy Executive Director. In addition, conference attendees heard from experts and prominent national speakers throughout the five‐day conference including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack; political journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann; retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor; and author Jay Wilkinson. See below or visit

www.naco.org jphilipps@naco.org for summary of remarks. For more information about the 2012 NACo Annual Conference, contact Jim Philipps at or 202.942.4220.

County Council Candidate Forum, Thursday August 31st

The public is invited to a nonpartisan, moderated candidate forum.

Thursday, August 31, County Council Candidate Forum, 6 p.m. til 8 p.m.
Come early, food sales  benefit Kealakehe High Culinary Program and Rotary Sunrise by Tante’s Restaurant at 5 p.m.

County Council District 7, South Kona:  Incumbent Brenda Ford, Enoch Friere
County Council District 8, North Kona:  Incumbent Kelly Greenwell, Debbie Hecht , Angel Pilago, Jim Rath

Forum moderator is Sherry Bracken ,  news reporter for Hawaii Public Radio and host of the LAVA 105.3 fm and KKOA 107.7 fm weekly broadcast, Island Issues.
Please submit questions in advance to sherryb@lava105.com  or at the forum.  Questions call Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce, 329-1758.

Sponsors:

West Hawaii Today
Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce
Kohala Coast Resort Association
Kona Outdoor Circle
Community Enterprises – Kona Town Meetings
Rotary Sunrise and Tante’s Restaurant
LAVA 105.3 FM/Mahalo Broadcasting
Kealakehe High School

Video Clips From the August 21st, Public Hearing on the Shoreline Access

Media Release:

Senator Josh Green, and Representatives Denny Coffman and Cindy Evans knew they had to respond to the public outcry over the closure of the public access road along the coast that leads to the Kohanaiki Beach area.

Little did they know the extent of the publics unrest. Thousands of signatures were gathered in a matter of weeks, and hundreds showed up in person to let their representatives know, that either NELHA opens the gate, or the people would open it themselves.

Some of the people wanted to go down that night and open it, others suggested the next day, everybody agreed that if it was not open in a 30 day period, it would be time to act.

Ron Baird, the CEO of NELHA, has given a number of reasons for closing the gate, but none of them really seem to hold water, adn none of them seem to justify the manner in how it was done.

Giving just two weeks notice, Baird ordered that the gate be locked for good.

It is the general sentiment that he should not onlly open the gate, but resign.

Needless to say the public is upset, and unruly to say the least. 30 days seems like the longest people will wait for NELHA to respnd.

A lot of credit most be given to Josh Green for holding this informal meeting to gather information. The Senator and two Representatives took a lot of heat from the public, who sometimes blamed them for the gate being locked. The truth of the matter, is that they were there to gather information to find a remedy.

That remedy appears to be to open the gate, restore access, and replace Baird with someone who has more respect for the residents that call Kohanaiki their second home.

Big Island Live broadcast the whole meeting live, and is playing reruns periodically. This is a short edited version of a two and a half hour public outcry.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zdyzk36NLQ&hl=en&fs=1&]

TODAY: ONLINE Meeting With Hoffman, Pilago and Yagong

ONLINE MEETING With Hoffman, Pilago and Yagong

Big Island residents are invited to call in and be part of the show for this live broadcast via the internet on www.bigislandlive.com. Calls will be taken at (808)-769-0998. This edition of Big Island Live will be hosted by Kristine Kubat. Pete Hoffmann will be first up at 5:30, and he will be talking about the proposed restructuring of the County Council. Joining him will be former council chairman, Angel Pilago. There is a public hearing coming up on September 14th about the restructuring. Callers should limit their questions to this subject.

Next up is Dominic Yagong, and he will be addressing the proposed sale of the Hamakua Sugar lands that the county acquired in 1994 for delinquent taxes from Hamakua Sugar Company. This sale will be addressed in the upcoming council meeting in Kona. Again callers should try to limit their questions to this subject.

*UPDATE* THIS SUNDAY @ 5:30 Call In for Live Internet Interviews With Councilman Dominic Yagong and Pete Hoffman Joined by Angel Pilago – TOWN HALLS ONLINE?

Media Release:

Big Island residents are invited to call in THIS SUNDAY, August 16th  @ 5:30 pm and be part of the show for this live broadcast via the internet on www.bigislandlive.com. Calls will be taken at (808)-769-0998. This edition of Big Island Live will be hosted by Kristine Kubat.

Pete Hoffmann will be first up at 5:30, and he will be talking about the proposed restructuring of the County Council.   Joining him will be former council chairman, Angel Pilago.  There is a public hearing coming up on September 14th about the restructuring. Callers should limit their questions to this subject.

Next up is Dominic Yagong, and he will be addressing the proposed sale of the Hamakua Sugar lands that the county acquired in 1994 for delinquent taxes from Hamakua Sugar Company. This sale will be addressed in the upcoming council meeting in Kona.  Again callers should try to limit their questions to this subject.

Locally produced shows, such as surf footage, music videos and interviews with prominent Hawaiian figures and kupuna will also air after the interviews, and be available for download.

The network will eventually bring to the viewer live news breaking stories as they happen on the Big Island.

If you have an idea for a show,  please contact  Big Island Live at (808)-327-9659

The Big Island Live Broadcasting Network is dedicated to the people of Hawaii, providing an outlet for multimedia coverage of breaking news and live entertainment on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Angel Pilago to Run for His Old North Kona Council Seat

I just read the following tweet from former Big Island Weekly Editor Kristine Kubat:

Angel Pilago confirmed on Sunday he will run for his old North Kona council seat…