Hawaiian Homes Commission To Hold Big Island Meeting
by Dave Smith
The Hawaiian Homes Commission will hold its annual Big Island meeting Monday in Hilo and Tuesday in Naalehu.
Sandwiched between the two regular meeting sessions will be a meeting with the community Monday night in Pahala.
The commission will first meet at noon Monday at the East Hawaii District Office of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands at 160 Baker Ave. in Keaukaha.
On Monday night commission members along with representatives of DHHL and various venders and community organizations will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Pahala Community Center at 96-1149 Kamani St.
The agenda begins with an open house where representatives from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands will be available for one-on-one consultations with beneficiaries. That will be followed by updates on the homestead community and the DHHL to be concluded with a 15-minute question-and-answer session.
The commission will reconvene the regular meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Naalehu Community Center at 95-5635 Mamalahoa Hwy.
The agenda for the regular meeting includes approval of various lease awards, loans and other homestead activities.
The nine-member Hawaiian Homes Commission oversees the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in its mission to manage the 203,500 acres of trust lands set aside by Congress in 1921 to provide homesteads for native Hawaiians to help them attain self-reliance and self-determination.
The commission is chaired by Jobie Masagatani, who was appointed director of DHHL by Gov. Neil Abercrombie in May.
Masagatani came to the commission from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, where she served as special assistant to OHA’s executive director. Prior to that she was an assistant to the president of The Queen’s Health Systems.
Masagatani, a graduate of Kamehameha Schools who holds a master’s degree in public affairs and urban and regional planning from Princeton University, had served as DHHL’s deputy director from 1995 to 2002.
The commission’s members are also appointed by the governor. There are two representing the Big Island, Ian Lee Loy from East Hawaii and Leimana K. DaMate from West Hawaii. According to the commission’s website, the terms of both expire in 2015.