View Point

Friday, February 20, 1998

Solutions for picking future
Bishop Estate trustees

By Gladys Brandt, Walter Heen,
Samuel King and Randall Roth

Sooner or later, the Probate Court will be called upon to fill vacancies on the Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate (KS/BE) Board of Trustees. We suggest that it prepare now for that inevitability.

The following is one possible set of guidelines:

Approximately three months prior to each anticipated vacancy (or as soon as possible after any unanticipated vacancy), the court shall call for the formation of a Trustee Selection Committee by publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation and by mailing notice to the following parties:

State attorney general, president of Na Pua a Ke Ali'i Pauahi, chairperson of the Kamehameha Schools Alumni Council of Presidents, chairperson of the KS/BE Board of Trustees, president of the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, executive director of the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools and executive director of the Hawaii Business Roundtable.

Within one month of the published notice, the attorney general shall select three members, Na Pua shall select two members, the alumni council shall select two members, KS/BE shall select one member, the AHCC shall select one member, the HAIS shall select one member and the HBR shall select one member.

Committee positions not filled within the one-month period shall be filled by the court.

As soon as possible after the selection committee has been formed, its members first shall meet to develop a proposed timetable and budget, which will be submitted to the court for approval. It is anticipated that the budget will include the cost of a secretary and investigator for a period of approximately two months and that these, as well as other reasonable committee expenses, will be paid directly by KS/BE.

The second order of business for the committee shall be the development or adoption of written criteria and procedures for the selection of a trustee. These shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation.

Committee meetings will not be open to the public, but minutes of each meeting shall be made available to all interested parties.

The selection committee shall follow its published procedures and apply its published criteria to develop a list of candidates and then winnow down that list to a single name, which will be submitted to the Probate Court for approval.

Under no circumstances shall a member of the committee be considered as candidate.

The entire list of candidates, as well as the single name submitted to the Probate Court, shall be made available to all interested parties prior to any action by the court. The court's primary function is to satisfy itself that the selection committee followed its own procedures and reasonably applied its own criteria. Absent compelling reasons explained in a written opinion, the court shall appoint the person nominated by the committee.

Editor's note: Gladys Brandt, Walter Heen, Samuel King, Randall Roth
and the late Monsignor Charles Kekumano authored "Broken Trust,"
the commentary published in the Star-Bulletin Aug. 9, 1997, that helped
trigger the attorney general's investigation into Bishop Estate operations .

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