Council to consider ‘highway safety’ bills

LIHUE —There are a few items on the agenda for Wednesday’s County Council meeting.

Two bills pertaining to “highway safety” will be presented for potential inclusion in the 2020 Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC) Legislative Package and the 2020 County of Kauai Legislative Package. These packages are two avenues in which the County Council can propose bills for an act at the Legislature.

The first bill for an act, presented by Councilmembers Mason Chock and Luke Evslin, would place the responsibility of the transfer of vehicle ownership on the seller rather than the buyer.

“So we can, in theory, find the registered owners of abandoned vehicles,” Evslin said.

Another bill for an act to be presented that is in regards to “highway safety,” also introduced by Chock and Evslin, pertains to adjusting the “beautification” fee that goes toward costs that include the removal of abandoned and derelict vehicles. Currently, the state authorizes the counties to charge residents up to $10 per year, a fee that’s incorporated into their annual vehicle registration dues. Rental car companies, however, can only be charged $1 per year per vehicle. This bill would remove that cap so that the fees would be equal.

Two more bills for potential inclusion in the 2020 HSAC Legislative Package that will be presented, introduced by Councilmembers Chock and Ross Kagawa, relate to county employee pensions and sick leave.

Finally, Bill No. 2756, proposed by Chock and Evslin, will undergo its second reading. If approved, the bill would allow family members to apply for real property tax exemptions based upon their own eligibility, as long as there is no living person on title.

An executive, closed-door session will follow in relation to the hiring of a county auditor.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Council Chambers in the Historic County Building.

A public hearing will commence afterward at 1:30 p.m. at the same location. The hearing will address Bill. No. 2757, which will potentially amend zoning maps and designations in the South Kauai Community Plan, including the Koloa Town Walkable Mixed-Use District and Kalaheo Town Walkable Mixed-Use District. The amendments, in short, would grant fewer restrictions and more opportunities for land use, including multi-family housing units rather than only single-family.

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  1. Uncleaina August 27, 2019 6:10 am Reply

    There’s NO enforcement – so they can write all the bills they want. People need an incentive to recycle their cars when they leave the island but our leaders aren’t wise so they propose these simpleminded solutions. How does placing the responsibility on the seller change anything if the seller is abandoning the car as they leave Kauai forever? Which is what happens. You gonna go after them in Colorado? Offer $200 for the car and an Uber to the airport from the metals center. And it’s silly to add $9 fee to the rental car companies- that might raise $90,000 or less? That’s literally nothing and won’t change anything. The new council isn’t moving the ball very far.

    1. Betty Ball August 28, 2019 9:43 am Reply

      At first glance it does seem unfair to hit up the car rental companies since it’s not rental cars that are being dumped alongside the road, but it’s better than making residents pay more. And $90,000 will pay for a lot of dead cars to be towed.

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