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Tuesday, November 16, 1999



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OHA trustees
skip meeting

Kauai seat left vacant

By Anthony Sommer
Star-Bulletin

Tapa

KAPAA, Kauai -- The Office of Hawaiian Affairs board of trustees has cut the field of 17 candidates for the vacant seat representing Kauai to seven candidates but has not chosen a new member.

Only five of the board's remaining eight members showed up yesterday, and a two-thirds majority of all trustees -- six votes -- is needed for the appointment.

If no appointment is made by Dec. 31, the choice shifts from the board to Gov. Ben Cayetano.

The vacancy was created by the Oct. 31 retirement of Moses Keale, 60, who had represented Kauai on the board since it was created in 1980.

Board Chairwoman Rowena Akana accused members Frenchy DeSoto and Clayton Hee of boycotting the meeting. Neither notified Akana they would be absent. Trustee Hannah Springer left word she couldn't attend because she had a conference with her child's teacher.

Another board meeting will be scheduled, probably for after Thanksgiving, to attempt again to appoint a ninth member.

The board's inability to act angered the 14 candidates who appeared for interviews. At one point several board members appeared ready to ask the entire group of candidates to be interviewed again at the next meeting and several candidates offered to withdraw their names rather than go through another interview.

"It cost me $200 (in lost wages) to come down here today," said candidate David Cutcher.

Jeff Chandler of Haena, a candidate for the post, told the trustees there should have been public notice before the meeting started that no vote would be taken.

The seven finalists are Cutcher, Chandler, Randy Wichman, Llewella Zablan, LaFrance Arboleaux, Randy Rego and Warren Perry.



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