Wednesday, July 08, 2020


Without a fix to its technology, the Maui Planning Commission may once again lock the public out from its proceedings on the Grand Wailua contested case

by Larry Geller

The Maui News reported today that the:

Grand Wailea hearings open to the public

but the parties in Disappeared News vs. Maui Planning Commission are not satisfied that any member of the public wishing to participate will be able to do so. At the June 9 meeting their chosen videoconferencing system chocked and was unable to accommodate everyone seeking to log into the meeting. Unless the technological problems are overcome, many or most members of the public wishing to remotely attend future meetings may again be denied.

The way the BlueJeans system was administered at that meeting, members of the public could “bomb” the livestream with unwanted interference. Those who use other conference or webinar software such as the popular Zoom system are aware that a meeting can accommodate large numbers of attendees remotely with routine success. At this point in the CO-19 crisis, successfully running livestreamed meetings is not rocket science.

The Maui News reported:

The media groups “are of the position that the [Hawaii Supreme Court] order without more does not satisfy the Constitutional obligations of the commission,” [attorney Lance] Collins said in a July 2 letter to Lawrence Carnicelli, chairman of the Maui Planning Commission, and Michele McLean, director of the Planning Department.

Hearings could be streamed on YouTube with public interaction over WebEx. Akaku Maui Community Media, which broadcasts county board and commission meetings, also could be a resource.

(see earlier articles including:

Media group lawsuit succeeds in opening public access to contested case hearing over the Grand Wailea Resort's proposed expansion permit application )

The Maui Planning Commission agenda for July 14, 2020 lists Collins’ letter to the Commission under the heading “Communications” and indicates that “The Commission may take action with respect to the letter” but does not specify what that action might be or if any such action is planned for the July 14 meeting (in which case it should properly appear on the agenda).

See: this lWink for Maui Planning Commission agendas. According to the Sunshine Law, agendas must be posted six days before the meeting.


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