New neighborhood board created for Nanakuli/Maili
The city has created the Nanakuli/Maili Neighborhood Board, separating it from Waianae, after the two communities sparred over several issues on the Leeward Coast, most notably a pending controversial decision to keep Waimanalo Gulch Landfill open.
Nanakuli and Maili residents hope the split gives them more time to focus on issues in their community. Waianae Neighborhood Board meetings are notorious for lasting three to four hours, going late into the night and giving little discussion time for issues in Nanakuli, residents said.
"I think good things can come about from this board," said Patty Teruya, who resigned as Waianae Neighborhood Board's chairwoman since she lives in Nanakuli. "It'll strengthen our coast."
"Oftentimes, the issues that pertained to Nanakuli is on the agenda but they never reach it because there are too many things on the agenda," said Joan Manke, executive secretary of the Neighborhood Commission. "It may be beneficial to have two boards now. Hopefully, the meetings will go a little shorter."
Residents tried unsuccessfully in the past to form a Nanakuli board, saying Waianae meetings were too long and that the drive into Waianae was too far when meetings ran so late. In November last year, there was another push to separate the board.
A month earlier, neighborhood boards in Waianae and Kapolei voted against approving the city's request for a two-year permit extension at Waimanalo Gulch Landfill, which is located near Ko Olina.
However, many Nanakuli residents favor the extension, fearing that shutting down Waimanalo Gulch would mean the city would turn to another landfill, Nanakuli PVT, which is located near homes.
"(The landfill) would have been one of the major issues that brought their petition back to life," said Bryan Mick, community relations for the Neighborhood Commission. "They felt they each have enough issues going on to occupy one neighborhood board."
The split, which was approved 6-to-1 in a Jan. 28 Neighborhood Commission meeting, leaves the Waianae Neighborhood Board with one vacancy.
The Neighborhood Commission will hold a special election to fill the nine seats on Nanakuli/Maili Neighborhood Board. Teruya said she and other Nanakuli residents formerly on the Waianae board plan on running.
Other interested applicants can download a form at www.honolulu.gov/nco/index1.htm. Forms must be postmarked by Feb. 20 and received via mail or hand delivery by Feb. 25. Voter registration forms are also available online or at the City Clerk's Office in Honolulu Hale.