Council to talk housing, terrorism Wednesday

LIHU‘E — It’s going to be a busy week in Kaua‘i government affairs.

The County Council is set to meet Wednesday morning, and their agenda is packed to the brim with headline-worthy subjects.

Funding for terrorism prevention, a lawsuit alleging race-based discrimination at KPD and an effort to streamline the permitting process for workforce housing development are all on the agenda, as is more.

Homeland Security funds

The Kaua‘i Emergency Management Agency is expected to request approval to receive and spend $570,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and state Department of Defense, to be used to “prevent, deter, respond to, and recover from threats and incidents of terrorism,” as well as “catastrophic preparedness initiatives.”

County officials did not respond to questions about what kinds of programs the funding would be used for by press time Saturday. KEMA is also seeking council approval to use $150,000 in DHS funds to pay for two existing staff positions.

KPD requests

The Kaua‘i Police Department is scheduled to ask the council for approval to accept a donation of 36 units of naloxone nasal spray from the Hawai‘i Health and Harm Reduction Center. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan, is used in emergencies to reverse the effects of an opioid-induced overdose.

KPD is also slated to ask the council to approve the receipt and use of four vehicles acquired by the state via the process of asset forfeiture.

County Attorney Matthew Bracken is expected to request $50,000 in funding for the defense of KPD Chief Todd Raybuck in the matter of Paul Applegate vs. County of Kaua‘i. Applegate, a KPD captain who is part-Japanese, sued the county in late August, alleging discrimination on the basis of race.

Workforce housing

Resolution 2021-29, which aims to cut through the red tape and expedite the permitting process for building workforce housing, is set to go before the council as well.

The text of the resolution notes the findings of the 2019 Housing Planning Study, which found that 4,281 new homes would be needed on Kaua‘i by 2025, a full 57% of which will need to provide housing for low- and very low-income families. The resolution also classifies the state of housing for such families in the county as “a crisis.”

The aim of the resolution is to initiate a fast-track review and permitting process for housing projects where at least 51% of the units built would be for low- or very low-income people.

The resolution was introduced by Councilmember KipuKai Kuali‘i.

Bills

A total of five bills are on the agenda, three of those scheduled for second reading and a likely vote.

Bills 2832 and 2833 would broadly raise fees for renewing or reinstating driver’s licenses and increase vehicle-registration and titling fees, respectively, while Bill 2835 would provide $475,000 in funding to hold the special election for county prosecuting attorney.

Those three bills are scheduled for second reading. Two new bills are expected to be introduced for first reading:

• Draft Bill 2839, introduced by Council Chair Arryl Kaneshiro, would move $900,000 in funding from the county’s general fund to an administration general-liability fund;

• Draft Bill 2840 would revise the county’s operating budget, opening up room to pay for new equipment for the Kaua‘i Fire Department and Ocean Safety Bureau and hire three new positions at the Department of Finance, among other things. That bill is introduced by Kaneshiro.

Other business

Early in the meeting, the council will interview Beverly Ann Gotelli, a retired teacher who applied to serve on the county Civil Service Commission. Gotelli previously served on the Maui County Commission on the Status of Women.

“I believe this is an opportunity for me to be an active member of the community and do the best I can should I be appointed,” Gotelli wrote in her application.

Another resolution set to go before the council would establish a crosswalk and pedestrian lane on Koloa Road at Lauoho Road. County Public Information Officer Alden Alayvilla said the county Department of Public Works expects the project to cost around $25,000 and would be completed within a few weeks, if approved.

Another request would authorize the spending of $111,870 in state and federal funds to pay for elder services including exercise and recreation programs at nine neighborhood centers across the county.

The council is also expected to receive the county’s quarterly report on settled claims against the county. That report indicates that three claims were settled between July 1 and Sept. 30 for a total of $53,369.15, the lion’s share of which was paid to the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative.

The meeting begins at 8:30 a.m., and can be viewed live online at kauai.gov/webcast-meetings. Written testimony can be submitted until one hour before the meeting begins by emailing counciltestimony@kauai.gov.

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Kaleb Lay, general assignment reporter, can be reached at 647-0329 or klay@thegardenisland.com.​

3 Comments
  1. Joe Public October 18, 2021 10:23 am Reply

    Why waste $50,000 to defend the Chief of Police? He should foot the bill up front, and IF he wins, reimburse him. The way the County is doing it, we (Kauai Residents) will end up losing $50K when he loses.


  2. Kauaidaddy October 18, 2021 9:08 pm Reply

    Save the County money, fire the Chief. Can’t believe the County endorses his behavior.


  3. shelly October 18, 2021 9:36 pm Reply

    We need farm worker housing here on Kauai. Please- the current rule a farm needs to have 35,000 annual income in order to be allowed to build farmworker housing. Perhaps an annual income of 10,000 would be workable.


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