Planning commissioners take their work seriously

The current status and future of Coco Palms is a contentious and complex issue for all of us.

As correctly reported in The Garden Island on Wednesday, Aug. 12, the issue before the Planning Commission on Tuesday was to receive the annual status report.

A status report is just that — a report from the applicant on what has been completed or is being done. It is based on the conditions that were imposed when it was first “conditionally” approved.

The commission can “receive the status report” or ask for clarification or more information. No other formal action can be taken at this time. The author of the letter (TGI Forum, Aug. 16, 2020) seems unaware of and appears not to have heard the full explanation provided by Planning Director Ka‘aina Hull.

Everyone from the community who wanted to testify orally was given the opportunity to do so. Many did. No one was denied a right to speak. Many more submitted written testimony. All were received by the Planning Commission and entered into the public record. This is as it has been and it should be. The responsibility/task on the commission is to fairly review all documents, to hear all sides, and (when necessary) to render judgments that are fair and just.

The Planning Commission has carried on its meetings during the COVID-19 emergency despite social-distance mandates and the many challenges of relying on Teams or Zoom to replace in-person meetings. Every commissioner gets a packet of case materials to read and digest at the end of the week prior to the meeting.

We read hundreds of pages and prepare for the meetings diligently. We seek to understand the complex issues and potential actions (or lack thereof), the legal ramifications we must navigate, and combine this within the Robert’s Rules of Order and the civility we all want for ourselves and our fellow citizens.

Research has shown that up to 70% of communication is non-verbal. We read/assume/judge intent, interest, disdain, anger, skepticism in our body language, tone of voice, speech cadence, and facial expressions more than in mere words. That’s one reason why “looking someone in the eyes” is an expression of trust and truthfulness. In a COVID-19 environment of Zoom meetings and no personal contact, it is difficult to make careful and accurate assumptions on intentions or perspectives. It is also erroneous to assume that rationality and civility are signs of either boredom or unpreparedness.

We take our responsibility seriously.

You may not agree with everything we do. You may not agree with our decisions. But know that we conduct ourselves aware of our responsibilities. We are prepared. We are not biased. We live here on island with all of you. We want what is best for all Kauaians, for we are Kauaians. To disagree with our actions is your right. To malign us is not. Every one of your commissioners is honorable and working on your behalf.

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Glenda Nogami-Streufert is a Kalaheo resident and chair of the Kaua‘i Planning Commission.

7 Comments
  1. Hypocrisy August 21, 2020 3:13 am Reply

    What a hypocrite that person is.

    You chose the job and no one forced you.

    You will be called out for lack of due diligence in the coco palms matter.

    Instead of drinking beer (entire county wanna be somebodies) where everyone knows your name bar in Lihue., why don’t you all address the derelict of the speculators capitalistic greed that failed to garner the flip that they wanted?

    If it hurts your feelings to be called out for the lack of urgency in the departments negligence than go find another job.


  2. Imua44 August 21, 2020 6:02 am Reply

    This planning commission is a rubber stamp of the Mayor and Mike D.
    This planning commission doesnt live to the purpose of all commissions.
    They should be a buffer of the community.
    The letter writer is against everything that helps jobs, housing or the residents .


  3. Kauaidoug August 21, 2020 8:39 am Reply

    That’s all well and good about the planning commission but is this the same planning commission that was around 20 years ago wondering what to do with the blighted eyesore Coco Palms and the Kapaa Crawl in front of it? Ridiculous and really down right shameful. Fix the damn road.


  4. karen georgia August 21, 2020 5:03 pm Reply

    i love coco palms because elvis stayed there :)i hope to come back in your resort bubble so i can visit coco palms again 🙂


  5. Uncleaina August 21, 2020 6:08 pm Reply

    How can you possibly claim the planning department is doing their job when you look at Coco Palms? 28 years and still nothing.


  6. manawai August 22, 2020 7:32 am Reply

    The author wrote, “To disagree with our actions is your right. To malign us is not.”
    Maybe wherever you came from was not subject the the U.S. Constitution that guarantees that we have the right to freedom of speech which includes the right to malign you and your actions. If you think what has been said is libelous, you have the right to sue although public figures such as yourself will find it hard to win that sort of suit.
    PS – I have no problems with what you chose to do with Coco Palms, but I wanted to correct you on the law which I believe is still something you must follow regardless of how sacrosanct you think you are.


  7. Belly O' the whale August 23, 2020 10:39 am Reply

    Maligned? Oh, get a grip. Talk about somone with a huge self-important chip on her shoulder and who refuses to face reality. The Coco Palms debacle is a damning indictment of the Planning Commission and the chairperson should be offering her abject apologies, not offering self-serving excuses and pointing fingers about well-deserved criticism.


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