HILO, Hawaii: Members of the State Reapportionment Commission got an earful in Hilo on Tuesday evening, during a public hearing on the proposed new district maps for Hawaii.
The well attended meeting was tense with the feeling of inter-island strife… complete with the presence of four the state sheriffs officers.
Preliminary maps have already been drawn, but nothing has been finalized. State house and state senate districts on Hawaii Island will likely be altered. But the biggest issue that was testified to was the commission’s decision to count non-resident military and student numbers collected in the 2010 Census… a break from tradition that will lead to the Big Island losing a crucial 4th senate seat.
A decision that has left some island politicos seething mad…
Attorney Stan Roehrig, retained by State Sen. Malama Solomon, and other Democratic Party committee members, promised legal action if the commission decides to go forward with their plan.
Even the givernor has written a letter to the commission, urging for their reconsideration, according to this letter read by Senator Solomon.
With district lines being shifted and entire towns being re-grouped, there is a lot on the line, politically.
Many of those elected officials were at the public hearing, and many of them questioned the motives behind the redrawn boundaries… like State Representative Bob Herkes, who himself stands to lose half the Ka’u district that he now represents if the proposed maps are ratified.
All the questions over motives only drew further attention to the apparently unbalanced make-up of the commission… nine members, all but one – Mauia attorney Anthony Takitani – from Oahu… and all but Takitani voted to count the military. Unless you county Dylan Nonaka, who has recently moved to Kona. A fact that drew the ire of Moani Keala Akaka during her fiery testimony,
The commission will hold a hearing in Kona at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center.
September 13, 2011 – Attorney Stan Roehrig retained
In this video – Attorney Stan Roehrig, retained by Senator Malama Solomon and three other Hawaii County Democrats, told the State Reapportionment Commission that they will face legal action if they do not reconsider their decision on who to count when redrawing district lines.
The commission made the decision to break from tradition and include non-resident military and student population data from the 2010 Census in the statewide process… a choice that will end up costing the Big Island a possible fourth state senate seat.
Members of the State Reapportionment Commission got an earful in Hilo on Tuesday evening, during a public hearing. The commission will also hold a hearing in Kona at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center.