VIDEO: Redistricting commission approved, controversy remains

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VIDEO: Redistricting commission approved, controversy remains

Video by David Corrigan | Voice of Stephanie Salazar

On Tuesday evening, the Hawaii County Council held a special meeting to approve the mayor’s nine nominees for the Hawaii County Redistricting Commission.

The mayor submitted the list of names for approval on February 15th, giving the council what he says is plenty of time before the March 1 deadline to vote on the matter.

But the mayor’s opinion on the timeliness of the delivery is not shared by all councilmembers.

South Kona councilwoman Brenda Ford, having interprited a “no” vote as a violation of the county charter, an act that may carry strict penalties, said she feels she was forced to vote in the affirmative or else suffer the consequences. She voted “kanalua two times” on all nominees, and stated “If each councilmember cannot vote except to rubber stamp the mayor’s choices, we the people no longer have a representative government.”

The mayor defended his choices for the commission the night before, during an interview in Waimea.

Kenoi also downplayed concerns that the lateness of the nominee list is somehow an attempt to serve the political interests of Hilo.


  • Cheryl King

    The Mayor states that the nominees are a “distinguished” group of individuals. That may be true, but unfortunately, Google and West Hawaii Today archive searches reveal very little personal information about them. The hastiness of their appointment and coerced confirmation have made it impossible for us to have confidence in the Mayor’s choices. This is not fair to island residents or to the nominees themselves who are under a cloud of suspicion not of their own making.

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