(BIVN) – As the public spoke out Wednesday on Hawaiʻi County Council Resolution 233-19, a picture showing a diverse community in crisis was developed.
The measure, introduced by councilmember Maile David, strongly urged Governor David Ige and Mayor Harry Kim to honor the request of Hilo’s State Senator Kaialiʻi Kahele calling for a 60-day “moratorium on the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope on Mauna A Wakea”
The measure was added to the council agenda at the last minute, and drummed up interest on both sides of the issue. Generally, supporters of the TMT project did not want to see the resolution pass, while TMT opponents wanted councilmembers to vote “aye”.
Testimonies ranged from tearful, to angry, to hopeful. Parents held their sleeping keiki in their arms as they spoke. Some were obviously conflicted, torn by their support for the observatory project and their rejection of the way it has divided the island.
For hours, the council sat and listened to the emotional testimony. They later voted 6 to 3 in favor of adopting the resolution.
NOTE: The public testimony above does not include the statements made by Kalepa Baybayan in opposition, or Jennifer Leinaʻala Sleightholm and Hokulani Reyes in support. Those testimonies were featured in seperate video stories.