KIUC board nixes meeting with no notice

LIHU‘E – The Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative special board of directors meeting originally scheduled for tors yesterday, Wednesday, Nov. 16, was rescheduled early yesterday .

It will now be held tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 18, at 3:30 p.m. at KIUC headquarters in the Hana Kukui Building in Kukui Grove Village West .

KIUC board member Ron Kouchi said the meeting was rescheduled to accommodate board Chair Gregg Gardiner, who is in Arlington, Va., for a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) board meeting .

Kouchi said Gardiner is the Hawai‘i director on the NRECA national board, and represented KIUC members at the organization’s meeting .

Leaders of the NRECA represent the national interests of officials of cooperative electric utilities across the nation and the consumers they serve .

Six residents showed up at the KIUC headquarters for the 5:30 p.m. meeting yesterday, but the short-notice rescheduling of the meeting until Friday didn’t sit well with Marsha Bellinger of ‘Oma‘o and Ken Taylor of Kapa‘a .

Taylor said he felt it was wrong to “reschedule a meeting that has been noticed, because one board member is missing. I think it is immaterial .

“They have rescheduled the meeting to a time frame in which a lot of people can’t attend,” Taylor said .

KIUC board member Ray Paler, who greeted those who had planned to attend Wednesday’s originally-scheduled meeting, said Gardiner was supposed to have returned to Kaua‘i by Wednesday, in time for the scheduled meeting, but could not because he got tied up at the NRECA meeting .

“He is supposed to come back tomorrow (today, Thursday, Nov. 17),” Paler said .

Paler also said that the meeting was rescheduled to 3:30 p.m. Friday because various board members had other obligations, and wouldn’t have the time to attend a meeting held later that day .

In her opinion, Bellinger said the mid-afternoon meeting set for Friday won’t allow more people to come out and give their viewpoints on operations of KIUC .

“I am concerned that it (Friday’s meeting) will be held at 3:30 when people have to work,” Bellinger said .

“I would like the meeting to be held later so people can come after work and ask questions (about KIUC operations). I feel people have legitimate questions.” Leadership issues and an organizational audit done by officials with NRECA are to be among the agenda items to be discussed at the special meeting .

Because KIUC board members are not governed by the state sunshine law, or open-meeting law, the board members can reschedule meetings without giving adequate public notice. The sunshine law requires the posting of agendas for public meetings six calendar days in advance of meetings .

The board’s bylaws allow rescheduling of meetings on shorter notice .

KIUC officials said board meetings are open to the public, and that agendas and minutes are posted on the Web site, www.kiuc.coop .

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