Kokua Line

June Watanabe

Monday, May 17, 2004

Vision group missives
paid for by water use

Question: The Downtown Vision Group sends out information about meetings in an envelope from the Board of Water Supply, with metered stamps. I'm wondering if whoever is in that group works for the water company and we, as taxpayers, are paying for all this information going out.

Answer: The money to pay for the mailings comes from the Board of Water Supply's budget, which, in turn, is funded by water users.

Board spokeswoman Wanda Yamane said vision team spending is tied to the official duties of Mayor Jeremy Harris' Cabinet members and, as such, "the respective city departments absorb costs."

Harris created 19 community vision teams in 1998 as a means of getting grassroots input into improving neighborhoods. The concept and activities have since been downsized, although the groups continue to meet quarterly.

Although the Board of Water Supply is a semi-autonomous city agency, Manager Clifford Jamile and Deputy Manager Donna Kiyosaki are considered members of the mayor's Cabinet. Jamile serves as facilitator for the Waianae Vision Group; Kiyosaki, with the Ala Moana/Kakaako/Downtown/Chinatown Vision Group, Yamane said.

Cabinet members are assigned as facilitators to various vision groups so that "they have the opportunity to understand community concerns firsthand," she said.

Jamile's and Kiyosaki's vision group work also is part of the water board's "community service efforts," Yamane said.

Each cabinet member is responsible for producing reports of vision group meetings and for providing notification of future meetings, she said.

In the case of the Downtown group, mailings currently are sent quarterly to about 130 individuals, she said. There are about 100 members in the Waianae group.

"The BWS absorbs the costs for the mailing of agendas and meeting minutes of these two teams through its annual budget, funded by water ratepayers," Yamane said.

Q: Regarding renewing driver's licenses (Kokua Line, May 13): I will be 70 years old when I need to renew my license in December 2005. Will I get a six-year license that will expire in 2011 (I will be 76) and then every two years henceforth because I will be older than 72?

A: Under Section 286-106 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes, the expiration date of the license is determined by the age of the driver at the time the license is issued.

Licenses -- original or renewed -- "shall expire on the first birthday of the licensee occurring not less than six years after the date of the issuance of the license, unless sooner revoked or suspended" for drivers aged 18 to 71.

So, yes, if you are 70 at the time you renew your license, it will be good for six years.

Once you hit 72, your license must be renewed every two years.

You have up to six months in advance of the expiration date to renew your license. When you renew your license in 2005, it will be good until your birthday in December 2011.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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