By Derrick DePledge
State Senate leaders have asked Gov. Neil Abercrombie to fill two vacant positions on the Hawaii Community Development Authority's board overseeing Kakaako so the Senate can take up the nominations in the special session this month on gay marriage.
The vacant positions are the cultural specialist and county nominated member.
In a letter to Abercrombie on Monday, Senate President Donna Mercado Kim and other Senate leaders said the HCDA's board does not meet statutory membership requirements. Lawmakers have taken a greater interest in the HCDA given the explosive growth in a region Abercrombie envisions as part of a "third city."
From the Senate letter:
Filling the vacant HCDA positions now would allow input from a cultural expert and small business and/or resident on pending and future development proposals which will have significant impacts on our community.
We believe public confidence and involvement in HCDA's decision-making process would be enhanced by compliance with H.R.S. §206E-3, especially since four of the seven remaining voting board members are Cabinet directors.
In order that we may be able to advise and consent pursuant to Hawaii Constitution Article V, Section 6, during the upcoming special session, we request that appointee names for the vacant positions be submitted to us by October 28, 2013.