(BIVN) – The Hawaiʻi County Council is planning to take a vote on a resolution “strongly urging” Governor David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim to honor the request of Hilo’s State Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele “calling for a moratorium on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna A Wakea.”
Resolution 233-19, introduced by councilwoman Maile David, does not appear on the July 24, 2019 agenda because it is being introduced too late.
“I hereby respectfully notify members of the Hawaii County Council that at the July 24, 2019 Council Meeting being convened at the West Hawaiʻi Civic Center at 9:00 a.m., I would like to add to the agenda pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes § 92- 2(d), Resolution No. 233- 19,” councilwoman David wrote.
The Hawaiʻi County Council will first have to vote on whether the matter can be taken up at Wednesday’s meeting. If agendized and then passed, the resolution would have no force of law. The measure can only encourage the top state and county executives to honor the moratorium request.
The full language of the resolution reads:
A RESOLUTION STRONGLY URGING THE HONORABLE GOVERNOR IGE AND THE HONORABLE MAYOR HARRY KIM TO HONOR THE REQUEST OF SENATOR KAIALIʻI KAHELE CALLING FOR A MORATORIUM ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE THIRTY METER TELESCOPE ON MAUNA A WAKEA.
WHEREAS, on July 15, 2019 hundreds of native Hawaiians and supporters peacefully gathered at Puʻuhululu expressing reverence, respect and support for preserving and protecting the sacred Mauna A Wakea and have continuously demonstrated non-violence and respect in upholding Kapu Aloha; and
WHEREAS, on July 17, 2019 pursuant to sections 127A-2 and 127A- 14, Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes the Honorable Governor Ige issued a Proclamation of Emergency declaring there is an imminent danger or threat of an emergency, in the County of Hawaiʻi, State of Hawaiʻi, and do hereby proclaim a state of emergency for the purpose of implementing emergency management functions as allowed by law in order to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the people; ….;” and
WHEREAS, Chapter 127A, Emergency Management, section 127A- 1( a), the policy and purpose provides, in part:
“Because of the existing and increasing possibility of the occurrence of disasters or emergencies of unprecedented size and destructiveness resulting from natural or manmade hazards, and in order to ensure the preparation of this State will be adequate to deal with such disasters or emergencies; to ensure the administration of state and federal programs providing disaster relief to individuals; and generally to protect the public health, safety, and welfare and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the State….” (emphasis added); and
WHEREAS, there appears controversy within the community whether the Proclamation issued by Governor Ige was necessary and justified as a means to address native Hawaiians’ peaceful demonstration in asserting their separate and distinct rights to preserve and protect traditional, cultural, religious and subsistence practices as guaranteed by law and the Hawaiʻi State Constitution; and
WHEREAS, in the interest of peace and kapu Aloha, the request for a 60-day construction moratorium of the Thirty Meter Telescope is supported and justified; now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE COUNTY OF HAWAII that the Honorable Governor David Ige is strongly urged to support the request of the Honorable Kaialiʻi Kahele and impose a 60-day moratorium on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Honorable Mayor Harry Kim is also strongly urged to support Honorable Kaialiʻi Kahele’s request to Governor Ige for imposition of a 60-day construction moratorium;
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the County Clerk shall forward a copy of this resolution to the Honorable Governor David Ige, the Honorable Mayor Harry Kim, the Honorable Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele, Chairperson of the Department of Land and Natural Resources, Suzanne Case, Chief of Police, Paul Ferreira, Fire Chief Darren Rosario, Director of Finance, Deanna Sako, Prosecuting Attorney, Mitch Ro[th], and the Office of the Corporation Counsel.
This won’t be the last time the response to the situation on Mauna Kea is taken up by the Hawaiʻi County Council.
Councilmember Matt Kanealiʻi-Kleinfelder is requesting a report from the County Finance Department for discussion at the Committee meeting on August 6.
Kanealiʻi-Kleinfelder said he wants to know:
- Specifically how expenses relating to Mauna Kea are being tracked
- Funds expended in 2015 relating to Mauna Kea
- Current total of funds expended relating to Mauna Kea
Kanealiʻi-Kleinfelder has been on the Mauna Kea Access Road to see the situation first hand. On July 8, before the scheduled start of construction, the Puna councilman questioned Mayor Kim and Police Chief Paul Ferreira about recent law enforcement actions in support of the TMT project.
On July 18, Kanealiʻi-Kleinfelder issued this statement:
Over the past few months a great deal of attention has been focused on Mauna Kea. Recent moves by State and County officials leave me uncomfortable.
The land lays almost entirely in State jurisdiction. Mauna Kea Access Road is a County paved and maintained road on DHHL property. Mauna Kea is not the County’s jurisdiction, yet the County of Hawaiʻi has been told to bear the costs of arrests, prosecution and manpower. The expenses involved in this State sponsored private venture are building quickly. A recent Honolulu Star Advertiser article stated that expenses would not be reimbursed by TMT. I’m extremely concerned the taxpayers of Hawaii are paying for a project being run by a foreign company both at a County and State level.
A greater concern to our County is the declaration of a State of Emergency. I was there Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. The kiaʻi maintained Kapu Aloha in every situation as promised. The unannounced closures of our highway were both premeditated, unnecessary and caused undue stress on county residents and visitors. The behavior of the kiaʻi during the arrests was no different Monday than Wednesday. There was no emergency that warranted shutting down the Daniel K. Inouye Highway to date. There was no reason to invoke a State of Emergency to date.
With our own administration quiet, I’m speaking up. This is our County. Too many decisions are being made by off Island politicians and business interests that directly affect our social fabric! I have asked for fiscal tracking of all expenses incurred by our county and an expense report August 6, 2019. I urge the other counties to inquire as well what costs they’ve accumulated so far.