Waimea Town Meeting to Focus on Community Issues

March 4, 2019, 8:52 AM HST (Updated March 4, 2019, 8:52 AM)
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Grumbling about something that bugs you in your community might briefly feel good, but to really make a difference, to help fix concerns or issues, serving on a county or state board or commission is worth considering.

“It’s a meaningful way to have an impact and you will learn a lot about your community and much more—from the US and State Constitution, County Charter and related rules and regulations, to community sensitivities and values,” said Nancy Carr Smith, a Waimea resident and Waimea Community Association Secretary who currently serves as the County Leeward Planning Commission’s Vice Chair. Our decisions make a difference in the life and well-being of a community now and in some cases, 20 years from now. It takes a lot of time to prepare for meetings, but it’s very interesting. I enjoy listening to community member views, issues and concerns as well as to project developers and the various public and private agency representatives that either have a say in what happens, or are advocating for a cause. It’s certainly not black and white and I have come to have great respect both for the county’s planning staff, and also for communities that are trying to advocate for what they believe is best for their area. I also value the opinions of my fellow commissioners. We don’t always agree, and we don’t make everyone happy, but we do try to do the right thing and honor the law,”

To learn more about what it means to serve on a Hawai‘i County board or commission, the Waimea Community Association (WCA) will dedicate most of its 5:15 to 7 p.m., Thursday, March 7, 2019 Town Meeting to a panel discussion that will include:

  • Rose Bautista, Executive Assistant to Mayor Harry Kim (she assists with recruiting community members for all county boards and commissions)
  • Leningrad Elarionoff, Hawai‘i County Water Board
  • Nancy Carr Smith, Hawai‘i County Leeward Planning Commission – Vice Chair
  • David Greenwell, Hawai‘i County Liquor Commission – Vice Chair
  • Diane Kanealii, South Kohala Community Development Plan Action Committee – Chair
  • James Fritz, Hawai‘i County Environmental Management Commission
  • Ralph Yawata, Hawai‘i County Fire Commission
  • James Hustace, South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee – Chair
  • Riley Smith, Hawai‘i County Liquor Control Adjudication Board

All of these panel members are Waimea/North Hawai‘i residents and some have served on other boards or advisory groups as well.

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The presentation will begin with a brief powerpoint overview of the county’s many boards, commissions and advisory groups, how they generally function, what disclosure is required to participate as a private citizen, and how “sunshine” rules apply.  Bautista will also briefly explain how to go about applying to serve.

Also on the agenda will be representatives of the soon-to-open in Waimea medical marijuana dispensary operated by Big Island Grown. Jaclyn L. Moore and Craig Pollard will provide a brief overview and answer questions.  Big Island Grown opened this island’s first medical marijuana dispensary on Jan. 16, 2019, in Hilo.

As usual at WCA Town Meetings, Waimea’s County Council member Dr. Tim Richards will provide an update on county business. Councilmember Val Poindexter is out of state so i sunable to attend. Also on the agenda will be a public safety report by Hawai‘i County Police.

WCA’s spotlighted not-for-profit for the March Town Meeting will be the Waimea Community Association.

“Each month we focus on an organization that provides valuable services to the community and this month, we are asking the community to help us enhance our monthly town meetings with buying our own sound and visual equipment,” said WCA President Patti Cook. “We have been borrowing equipment from members and friends and it doesnʻt always work out well; last monthʻs town meeting we had some serious audio-visual challenges.  Itʻs time to purchase our own equipment thatʻs more reliable and suited to the space we meet in.”

As always at town meetings, attendees will be asked to consider making a tax deductible donation to the spotlighted organization.

Coffee will be provided compliments of Starbucks, and cookies or a light snack will be donated by WCA Board members.

The meeting will be located at the Waimea School cafeteria, 67-1225 Māmalahoa Highway in Kamuela.

For more information, go online, or www.Facebook.com/WaimeaCommunityAssociation.   Or, email Patti Cook at [email protected] or call (808) 937-2833.

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