Reactions mixed

LIHUE — The stage was set, the security was in place, and the list to testify on Bill 2491 was long Thursday in what was poised to be the final showdown on the measure’s fate.

But there were no winners or losers.

For some, the decision to recess the special Kauai County Council meeting until Saturday marked a broken promise — one that was built on the premise of a vote with the existing six councilmembers.

Hanapepe resident Nani Numazawa said she has attended every council meeting on the bill. The outcome of Thursday’s meeting, however, was disappointing, she said.

“I expected them to vote on this already,” Numazawa said outside of the Historic County Building in Lihue shortly after the decision to defer was heard on a live meeting broadcast system. “Now that they never had all the votes (needed to pass it), now they’re asking for more time? I think that’s bull. They’re being unfair.”     

Other bill opponents standing outside the Historic County Building, some donning gray “Proud to be … Kauai Ag” T-shirts, declined to comment.  

On the other side of the lawn, bill supporters applauded when the final vote in favor of a meeting recess was cast.

As people walked out of the building’s main entrance, bill supporters joined hands and spread out into one large circle for a pule to celebrate the decision after the meeting was adjourned.

“It’s kind of a victory, because it’s giving us an opportunity to keep on,” Kauai Farm Connection Director Jillian Seals of Kilauea said. “This isn’t going to go away. I think that taking the time that this needs for such an important decision and issue that affects so many people is important.”

Kilauea resident Eleni Cameron agreed and said that the council’s collective vote on the bill “is just a small little battle in the larger war that is happening.”

“It was a great move short of a having a victory with a 5-1 vote, since Ross Kagawa changed his vote from the original time,” Cameron said. “It’s the best that we can do at this point, so I’m hopeful.”

• Darin Moriki, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0428 or dmoriki@thegardenisland.com. Follow him on Twitter at @darinmoriki.

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