Waimea Community Association to Hold Virtual Town Halls
The Waimea Community Association will continue holding Virtual Town Meetings on the first Thursday of each month beginning Jan. 7, 2021.
Meetings will be streamed “live” on the association’s Facebook page from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and all are welcome to login and attend. The meeting will be recorded and available for viewing later on Facebook. It also will be saved to YouTube and be accessible on the association’s website.
Kicking off the association’s 2021 meetings will be an online talk-story with all of the community’s newly elected and re-elected public policy makers sharing their thoughts, concerns and policy priorities. They also will share how best to communicate with them and how to use the state’s effective Public Access Room (PAR) services.
“With the Hawai’i State Legislature set to convene on Jan. 20, this meeting is particularly timely,” said WCA President James Hustance. “As everyone knows, our legislators will be needing to balance unprecedented pandemic-precipitated fiscal challenges with urgent needs to ensure and restore health and safety, rebuild the economy, get kids back to school, provide essential social services and much more.”
“We are grateful to welcome State Sen. Lorraine Inouye and State Representatives Mark Nakashima and David Tarnas. Together they are chairing or serving on several of the most important legislative committees, so we expect their presentations will provide helpful insight into what to expect in the weeks and months ahead.”
Both Sen. Inouye and Rep. Tarnas are chairing the Water and Land Committees in the Senate and House of Representatives, and Rep. Nakashima is chairing the Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee in the House. Also, Sen. Inouye continues to serve on Ways and Means and is now Vice Chair of Transportation. Rep. Tarnas is also a member of the Committees on Corrections, Military and Veterans, and Consumer Protection and Commerce.
Next on the virtual town meeting agenda will be newly elected Hawai’i Island OHA Trustee Keola Lindsey, whose responsibility includes federal, state and county policy advocacy. Lindsey has spent nearly two decades working with Native Hawaiian communities throughout the state on a broad range of issues. He started his government career with the State Historic Preservation Division in Kona, and for the last 13 years has served in a variety of roles with OHA, most recently as their chief advocate interacting with Hawai’i’s Congressional team as well as the State Legislature, State administration and County. Lindsey will share the 2021 legislative priorities of OHA’s newly elected leadership.
Following will be County Council members Dr. Tim Richards (Council Dist. 9 – Waimea-Waikoloa-Kohala) and Heather Kimball (Council Dist. 1 – Waimea-Hamakua). For the post-election Council, Dr. Richards chairs the Regenerative Agriculture, Water, Energy and Environmental Management Committee, and newly elected Councilwoman Kimball chairs the Governmental Operations, Relations and Economic Development Committee and both serve on all other Council committees.
The community is invited to submit suggested questions prior to the meeting by emailing: [email protected]. Questions may also be typed into the Facebook chat during the meeting and will be addressed as time permits.
As always, WCA Town Meetings spotlight a community not-for-profit by providing time for representatives to share the organization’s mission and activities and invite community support. January’s spotlighted non-profit will be Kahilu Theatre Foundation and they will discuss the impacts of the pandemic and their transition to virtual programming. They also will be introducing their new Executive Director.
Also on the call will be Waimea Police Capt. Sherry Bird with a brief public safety update.
The next WCA Virtual Town Meeting will be at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021 and will feature newly elected Mayor Mitch Roth and several of his new cabinet members.