`Ano`ai kakou… We were deeply disappointed with the state legislature this year when they failed to pass Senate Bill 3122, which would have allowed residential development on three of OHA’s Kaka‘ako Makai properties. SB3122 would have added significant value to our properties and provided much needed revenue for our Nation.
Because of opposition from the “Save Our Kakaako” groups, theState House, led by Representative Scott Saiki, killed our bill. OHA wanted to increase our building height limit in order to allow for more middle income condos. Our plan was to build a Hawaiian sense of place and community allowing for open space and ease of access to the waterfront. However, the Save Our Kakaako groups fought against our plan, saying that they were against the building of any kind of housing.
What they didn’t understand was that, under the present law, OHA could exceed its height limitations if we built “commercial” buildings. By developing commercial buildings, OHA’s footprint across its Kakaako lands would be larger and it would not leave enough open space for any kind of community access.
It is tragic that when members of certain groups are allowed to influence decisions that will affect millions of people in a very negative way for many generations to come. Why is it that vocal minorities always seem to prevail over the majority of folks? In any case, OHA will now proceed with the development of a Master Plan for our Kakaako lands.
ON ANOTHER NOTE – OHA PRIMARY
For the first time in OHA’s 30-year history, the general public will get to vote in a Primary Election for OHA Trustees. Since more than seven candidates have signed-up for the three seats in the at-Large OHA race (as of late-April) we will need to have an OHA Primary Election to bring that number down to six for the General Election. Candidates running for OHA seats will now have to spend a lot more money to win their statewide elections.
PERMANENT ABSENTEE VOTING
I encourage all OHA voters to consider Permanent Absentee Voting, which allows registered voters to receive their ballots by mail permanently for future elections. As a permanent absentee mail voter, you will no longer have to apply for future elections. A ballot will automatically be mailed to you for each election in which you are eligible to vote.
HOW DO I REQUEST TO VOTE BY PERMANENT ABSENTEE BALLOT?
You must be a registered voter in order to receive your absentee ballots permanently. Applications for Permanent Absentee Ballots (known as the Wikiwiki Voter Registration & Permanent Absentee form) are available at the following locations:
- City/County Clerk’s Offices
- Hawaii State Libraries
- Office of Election’s website: www.hawaii.gov/elections
- Satellite City Halls
- U.S. Post Offices
Submit your completed application directly to the Office of your City/County Clerk no later than 7 days before the election. Permanent Absentee Applications will be accepted until:
2014 Primary Election: Saturday, August 2, 2014
2014 General Election: Tuesday, October 28, 2014
If you have any questions, please call the Office of Elections at (808) 453-VOTE (8683).