If you were a contract employee, would she renew your contract if you missed most of the meetings in your two-year term?

Member Riki Hokama

Council Chair Mike White

UPDATE 9/20/18  You see over a month ago we addressed this absentee concern at Council committees, and then we did again  just a few days ago (https://gokihei.org/news/council-committee-progress-derailed-by-non-attendance)  but it seemed we were the only entity addressing it.

However, this week’s Maui Time has now joined with KCA on the topic.



8/15/18 #kihei

If you had a business and you contracted a worker for two years and he was absent a lot of the time and missed key functions, would you renew his contract or look for a replacement?

Most everyone misses time at work for a variety of reasons. Some people have more valid reasons than others. Yet if a worker agrees to the terms and takes the job, would you expect him to fulfill them?

As a voter and taxpayer you “hired” nine Council Members almost two years ago. As their employer, do you expect them to be present at their committee meetings?

The Council has eight committees, and each member chairs one of them, while the Council Chair leads the full council. The committees have either seven or nine voting members, have a required number needed to achieve quorum, and each meeting is announced one week before it commences. So why do some elected officials miss so many meetings? The Council business lags if a legally required quorum is not achieved or if bare quorum inhibits actions. And what should you, as the one paying them, do about this?

With the excellent cooperation of Council Services, we examined the attendance of the voting members of each committee for 2017. We wanted to see who was attending most of the time, and who was not. We feel looking at this extensive period eliminates emergency personal situations that may occur.

Upon examination of the attendance records, it is obvious that some members do not adequately serve on some committees.  The records indicate that some decide which committees they will serve by attending, and those which they will not serve, simply by their not attending.  This year we watched two committees continuously struggle because of this: Yuki Lei Sugimura’s Policy, Economic Development, and Agriculture Committee committee, and Kelly King’s Planning Committee

We counted three with excessive absences on committee meetings on which they are voting members over past 19 months: chair White, and members Hokama and Guzman. At this year’s Policy, Economic Development, and Agriculture Committee, Hokama and White both missed more meetings than they attended. Hokama did the same with the Planning Committee!

Is this acceptable?