Letters for March 7, 2016
Meetings can’t be secret
I have recently discovered there are secret meetings encouraged by Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura to keep people from knowing about, giving opposition to, or agreeing with what the council wants kept out of the public eye and awareness. By doing this they are ignoring and breaking Hawaii’s Sunshine Law, a law that encourages maximum openness during these types of proceedings.
HR 92-1 reads: “… that it is the policy of this State that the formation and conduct of public policy — the discussions, deliberations, decisions and action of governmental agencies — shall be conducted as openly as possible” and that “provisions requiring open meetings shall be liberally construed.”
Because Yukimura believes the public would over-react to ideas put forth in these secret forums, it seems she and other council members have found a way to pass ordinances they want as no one has access to these secret meetings the council does not want there. Also, as any input from the community is restricted to a mere three minutes, no one can provide sufficient testimony to augment the months of careful gleaning these proposed ordinances have gone through, draft after draft, until the final draft is ready to push through.
These meetings should be held in open forum so you and I can have the right to know and give our input before any decision is made. This is your right as a resident of Kauai. Why are they, County Council, trying to take away our rights? You have another right they cannot take away! Vote them out if you agree.