Joint Council, Administration workshop has wide agenda

CIRA de CASTILLOTGI Staff Writer

LIHU’E — During a four-hour workshop Tuesday morning, Mayor Maryanne Kusaka

and County Council members sorted through a wide-ranging agenda that drifted

from exercises in personal communication to sticky political issues like the

county’s responsibility for old government roads.

The monthly facilitated

workshops, or visioning meetings, are designed to support improved

communications between the Administration and the Council and are open to the

public.

A brainstorming session on possible future county legislation

included issues such as commercial operations at county parks, regulation of

Bed & Breakfast establishments and the need to regulate vacation rental

properties.

Park closures at night to prevent vandalism and the spending of

Community Development Block Grant (CBED) money also entered the

conversation.

“I am stressing that these are only suggestions for possible

consideration,” said Council Chair Ron Kouchi.

Before a new Council is

seated in December, Kouchi said he would like to see the General Plan Update

completed along with a county housing study.

In addition to discussing

business, some of those who attended the meeting participated in an exercise in

personal communications. Active participation in the exercise was limited to

less than half of the nine participants at the workshop.

Those who did take

part in the exercise were asked to name some of the people that during the

course of their lives had affected their personal development.

The

purpose of the exercise, said facilitator Marilyn Wong, is for participants to

gain a better understanding of “who” each brings to the table (in their

background) when they meet in their capacity as elected officials.

Wong

said it would be good if the Council could understand that the public who comes

to testify, like themselves, brings their background to the microphone.

During a discussion on the subject of the transfer of “old government roads” to

the counties from the state the group seemed to agree that the starting point

would be to first settle the Moloa’a Road issue.

“This whole issue of old

government roads will not be settled overnight. It will take time,” Kusaka said

floating the idea of creating a special highway fund to address the

matter.

The group agreed that the previously requested opinion from the

County Attorney’s office as to the extent of the counties responsibility for

Moloa’a Road would guide future decision making on that matter.

Councilman

Gary Hooser said the workshops offer a more relaxed atmosphere in which to

discuss government and personal issues.

“We are all thinking a little bit

more about the perspective of the other person,” he said. “In small ways it

makes us better communicators and some of the individuals are communicating

better or laying the groundwork of better communications in the future.”

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