KIUC to inaugurate directors

As the three newly elected board members of the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative are sworn-in at the annual meeting this afternoon, delegates will determine the committees and offices for which they are best suited.

New directors David Iha, Allan Smith and Carol Bain will join Dane Oda, Alfred Laureta, Derek Kawakami, Dennis Esaki, Peter Yukimura and Phil Tacbian. The former board had its last meeting yesterday.

For Iha, the first priority will be to orient himself, he said.

“Listening and digesting,” will be his first steps, he said, noting he hopes also that the meeting will be productive.

“I’m looking forward to serving on the board. I hope to make some contribution with the rest.”

Approaching it with an open mind, Bain said she looked forward to working “as a team” with other members, especially in areas where their backgrounds might offer differing solutions.

Bain has requested to be appointed to the finance and audit committee, which would help oversee and manage KIUC’s quarter-billion-dollar budget. She also has requested a seat in the policy committee.

“Policy areas have been of interest to me with my outreach regarding membership participation and access to KIUC records,” Bain said. “I’m especially interested in the policy that deals with public disclosure. I’d like it to be reviewed and relaxed.”

The policy should be in keeping with the state Sunshine Law regarding public records, she added, noting that some areas should still be kept private.

“We all respect the rights to privacy and certainly with regards to personnel or contracts,” she said.

Bain elaborated that because KIUC is a co-op, it is important to acknowledge its responsibility to the public and to recognize the public’s interest.

“There is history of the electric utility going from an IOU to a cooperative, which provides a whole different way of looking at membership,” she said.

That perspective could mean disclosing information that higher-ups in a corporation might consider compromising, she added.

Smith was unavailable for comment.

The new members will be sworn in at 1 p.m. in the KIUC main office conference room, at 4463 Pahee St. in Lihu‘e. They then will join fellow board members for their first meeting.

• Amanda C. Gregg, staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 252) or agregg@kauaipubco.com.

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