(BIVN) – Concerns over a community dispute in Panaʻewa were brought before the Hawaiian Homes Commission during its meeting in Waimea on May 20.
Sergio Mamone, a beneficiary and a Hawaiʻi County parks and recreation employee who works at the Panaʻewa Park, spoke during the public testimony portion of the meeting.
“We had a community that wanted this person, and then a community that wanted this person,” Mamone said, referring to the leadership of the area’s homestead association. “When you’re born and raised there and you see people fall apart over a little nonsense like this… I was coming as an agency person, as a county employee, because they use our facility to facilitate their community meetings. We had two people coming in saying that ‘I’m the president’ and ‘I’m the president’.”
When Mamone called the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands office, “nobody could tell me what was going on, and even to this day. They could tell me they were president but we needed to hear it from Hawaiian Homes, you know.”
The situation in Panaʻewa was not on the Hawaiian Homes Commission agenda, however, Kauilani Almeida – who, in a request to address the commission under the “J agenda”, identified as the newly elected President of the Panaewa Hawaiian Home Lands Community Association, or PHHLCA.
Almeida took issue with the Panaʻewa Community Alliance, or PCA, and a reported Memorandum Of Agreement (MOA) involving the Kamoleao property.
“Through a license agreement between the Panaʻewa Hawaiian Home Lands Community Association / Panaʻewa Community Alliance and the DHHL, an approximately 12. 77-acre site was earmarked for community development for the benefit of the Panaʻewa Homestead community,” an October 2018 environmental assessment for the Kamoleao project states.
Almeida says the PCA, formed by a previous PHHLCA board, should be removed from the DHHL MOA as second recipient and co licensors for Kamoleao. “So they no longer represent PHHLCA,” Almeida wrote, “cease all monies to PCA and ask for an audit of all funds from December 18, 2018 to present.”
A spokesperson for DHHL says the commission did not take any action on the situation, suggesting that the matter is for the homestead association and the beneficiaries to resolve.