Commission denies mayoral pressure

LIHU’E — A claim by a project opponent of mayoral influence on a proposed

retreat center in Kapahi drew denials Thursday from the Kaua’i County Planning


During a hearing on the retreat, Bert Lemke contended that

Mayor Maryanne Kusaka is for the project and has pressured her appointees on

the commission to support it.

Kusaka does support the project, according to

spokeswoman Beth Tokioka.

Several commission members took exception to

Lemke’s claim that Kusaka is pressuring them.

Gary Baldwin, chairman, said

in his five years on the commission that Kusaka has never asked him to vote a

certain way.

Commission member Ed MacDowell objected to what he called an

inference that commissioners don’t think for themselves.

Staff writer

Paul C. Curtis can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 224) and


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