Monday, September 17, 2001

City & County of Honolulu

redistricting gains
favor with Council

The reapportionment scheme
would set boundaries at
Kaena and Makapuu

By Gordon Y.K. Pang

Members of the Honolulu Reapportionment Commission are eyeing a plan that would give more City Council representation to the fast-growing suburban regions of Oahu at the expense of older neighborhoods.

Commission members directed staff at a meeting last week to make some adjustments to the Kaena Point/Makapuu Point plan, dubbed the "dual-point plan," in preparation for its next meeting Oct. 3.

Whatever plan, or plans, come out of that meeting, they said, will be the one they take around the island for a series of public hearings at the end of October.

The dual-point plan separates Waialua from Makaha at Kaena, and Waimanalo from Hawaii Kai at Makapuu. Commission members said at their meeting Tuesday they prefer that scheme over two others -- one beginning at Kaena, and the other at Makapuu.

"The reason why I like the (dual-point) plan is that it keeps most of the communities intact," said Kerry Komatsubara, commission chairman.

"When you look, for example, at Kailua, Waimanalo and Kaneohe," he said. "And then the same thing with Mililani Mauka and Wahiawa. And Kapolei stays intact, Makakilo stays intact and Ewa stays intact."

Annette Yamaguchi, vice chairwoman of the commission, said the initial Kaena-Makapuu plan does the best job of keeping traditional neighborhoods within Council districts.

Yamaguchi agreed that the dual-point plan improves upon the current district map by keeping nearly all of Waipahu together. She cited the union of Kaneohe and Kailua as another improvement.

Staff is being asked to do some tinkering, however, such as removing Kapolei from the Waipahu district and rejoining it with the Leeward Coast and Makakilo, Yamaguchi said.

Another key attraction to the dual-point plan is that the nine districts, which, split into nine parts, would have about 92,000 people each, have only a slight deviation in population from one another.

Komatsubara emphasized, however, that the commission is far from making final decisions.

"Where we are right now, we don't want to rule out anything," he said.

Under the plan:

>> District A would be the most far-flung district, starting at Kaena Point and including Wahiawa, Mililani Mauka, Waialua and all of the North Shore. All are part of the current 1st District seat occupied by Rene Mansho. It would also grab a large chunk of the Kahuku side of the island from Kawela to Heeia, now part of Steve Holmes' 2nd District.

>> District B would become the more concentrated, larger of two Windward districts. It would go through most of Kaneohe and Enchanted Lake, now part of the 2nd District, and all of Kailua and Waimanalo, which now belong in the 3rd District, represented by John Henry Felix.

>> District C would take the East Honolulu portion of District 3, from Hawaii Kai to Maunalani Heights, and join it with the Kahala, Diamond Head and Waikiki parts of District 4, now occupied by Duke Bainum. It would include Ala Wai Harbor.

>> District D would join Palolo Valley and Kaimuki, now part of District 4, with sections now in Andy Mirikitani's 5th District: Manoa, most of Makiki down Piikoi Street and the Ala Moana area.

>> District E would be the downtown district that would include the rest of Makiki and go mauka all the way to Moanalua Gardens including Punchbowl, Nuuanu and Kalihi Valley. Most of the district now is in Jon Yoshimura's 6th District, with the northeast part of the 7th District, occupied by Romy Cachola, and a small section of the 5th District.

>> District F would be the makai district, taking lower Kalihi and joining it with Salt Lake, Moanalua Gardens and Halawa makai of H-1. Nearly all of it now is in the 7th District. It would also include the Sand Island area, now in the 6th District.

>> District G would add Moanalua Valley, now in the 7th District, with much of the current 8th District, now represented by Gary Okino, including upper Halawa, all of Pearl City and Aiea, and the Crestview section of Waipahu.

>> District H would wrap all of Waipahu, except Crestview, and add the West Loch portion of Ewa, Kunia and Kapolei, now in the 9th District seat of John DeSoto, and Waipio and Mililani, which is part of the 1st District.

>> District I would be the Leeward district, including all of the coast, Makakilo and most of Ewa.

The commission has until Jan. 1 to complete the plan, which would go into effect with the 2002 Council elections. Only members Cachola and Okino are eligible for re-election. Council members can serve a maximum of two consecutive four-year terms.


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