Bill puts cart before the horse for Kawainui marsh master plan
This concerns Senate Bill 2770 introduced by Sen. Jill Tokuda concerning an advisory council for the Kawainui Marsh Master Plan. This bill includes the provisions: “Facilitate implementation of the updated master plan by providing advisory input to the state Department of Land and Natural Resources”; also, “Each voting member shall be appointed by the governor no later than Dec. 31, 2014. And the Kawainui advisory council shall submit a report to the legislature no later than 20 days prior to the convening of each regular session beginning with the regular session of 2016.”
Note that this means the bill establishes an advisory council only after the marsh plan is adopted, since the plan is scheduled for adoption and EIS preparation this summer, and certainly before 2016. It does not provide for a citizen participation body for input on the plan before it is adopted. The Kailua Neighborhood Board investigative committee specifically concluded that an advisory committee is needed now, before the plan is finalized or an EIS is done on it.
As it now stands, the bill allows for the draft Kawainui Marsh Plan that the DLNR consultant has prepared to be adopted without proper public participation, and over the objections of the Kailua Neighborhood Board, LaniKailua Outdoor Circle, Audubon Society, Hawaii’s Thousand Friends, Ke Kahua O Kuali‘i, Keep It Kailua and other community leaders and Hawaiian practitioners. The plan ignores input provided by Hoolaulima ia Kawainui.
This bill is contrary to a draft submitted to Sen. Tokuda that called for an advisory committee to work on the preparation of the marsh plan. It should not receive a hearing because it does not include a provision that the advisory committee be established to provide input into the content of the plan in time for that input to be reported to the legislature prior to adoption of the plan or preparation of the EIS.
A plan of this magnitude, and for such a very sensitive area, should be based on widespread, meaningful public participation. Chuck Prentiss
chairman, Kailua Neighborhood