(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi County Council spent a chunk of Tuesday’s Finance Committee meeting in Kona talking over an idea for an “ad hoc committee” in anticipation of the coming budget process.
Kohala councilman Tim Richards brought forward the request in this communication:
I humbly request an appointment of an ‘ad hoc committee’ of the Hawaiʻi County Council for the purpose of reviewing, researching, and addressing various concerns and/or potential concerns relevant to the County of Hawaiʻi budget for FY 2018-2019. It is my opinion that an ad hoc committee would be beneficial to the Council and the County of Hawaiʻi as a whole, in allowing four(4) Council Members to work together in this Sunshine Law acceptable capacity, and provide its findings to the entire Council in efforts to offer suggested solutions toward a budget we can all be proud of going forward.
I am offering my availability to be one of the four (4) appointed Council Members to serve on this ad hoc committee, and additional am very willing to Chair the group as well.
Richards presented a detailed argument in favor of the subcommittee on Tuesday, but other councilmembers were concerned that the effort would remove the public from the equation.
“The bottom line for me is that you need to have public participation and open government,” said council chair Valerie Poindexter. “That’s why we have the Sunshine Law.”
“You know, we can brainstorm in public, even if it takes us hours and we run to midnight every night, or whatever it is,” Poindexter said. “But, you know, we just took a pay increase, too, so we should be willing to work those long hours. The public is paying us to do that.”
The council postponed taking any action on the request.