The Mililani and KuliououBy Harold Morse
boards may need to rely
on appointments to make
sure votes can be taken
If more board candidates don't emerge, the Mililani and Kuliouou neighborhood boards will need to rely on appointments to have enough members to hold official meetings.
As of yesterday, the 23-member Mililani Neighborhood Board had nine candidates and needed three more for a quorum. The 17-member Kuliouou Neighborhood Board had eight candidates and needed one more for a quorum.
Five other neighborhood boards that faced a similar problem -- Manoa, Makiki, Nuuanu, Kalihi Valley and Waipahu -- now have a sufficient number of board aspirants.
Mail-in candidate applications must have been postmarked as of yesterday, but the Neighborhood Commission will accept them until Jan. 29, said Executive Director Ben Kama.
If Mililani and Kuliouou don't get enough candidates for a quorum by then, the commission will appoint board members to make sure board votes can be taken.
Many new people are running for their neighborhood boards, Kama said.
He expects about the same number of candidates this year as turned out for the most recent Neighborhood Board election two years ago. In that election, 630 candidates ran for 458 seats on 32 boards.
Mark Terry, vice chairman of the Kuliouou board, had no explanation for the shortage of candidates for that board.
"No one has said to me that they were not running for re-election, so I am absolutely surprised to hear about this," he said. But he's confident that when all applications are counted, Kuliouou will have enough candidates for a quorum.
"I hope so," he said. "It will be terrible if we don't."
Angela Chinen, a Mililani board member, didn't file this time because she is moving from the area. But Chinen saw the board as a positive influence and said she has encouraged other people to run.
Kuliouou board member Linda Starr thought some people were reluctant to run because they believe neighborhood boards aren't effective, with their recommendations going unheeded.
Douglas Thomas, who is seeking re-election for the Mililani board, also was surprised by the candidate shortage.
"I know we had a full body last time, so I'm not sure why we wouldn't have that this time," he said.