QUESTIONS OF CHARACTER
On March 19, two nominees for the LC Adjudication Board and two nominees for the Liquor Commission will go before the County Council for final approval. All four were considered on March 5 by the Council’s Committee of the Whole after being tapped by Mayor Tavares.
Three sailed unanimously through the committee: Adjudication nominee Marilyn Chapman and Commission nominees Lee Ohigashi and Monica Revells. The fourth nominee—Ron McOmber—caused a bit of a stir. (LC Watch wasn’t able to attend, but the tension is palpable even on the Akaku footage.)
McOmber isn’t a newbie by any stretch—he currently serves on the Commission, had a previous five-year stint on the Adjudication Board and, due to his confrontational style, has provided plenty of quotes for this column. But the objections to his nomination didn’t stem from experience. In fact, in a report submitted by Committee Chair Mike Molina, McOmber’s “record of public service, including his current tenure on the Liquor Control Commission” is cited as justification for his appointment.
McOmber, who lives on Lanai, is among those challenging the residency of Councilmember Sol Kaho‘ohalahala. Not surprisingly, Kaho‘ohalahala voted against him. Kaho‘ohalahala insisted his vote was due to concerns about “the character of the individual” and not a personal vendetta. McOmber, he said, has a history of “denigrating…the people who he’s not in support of.”
Despite a protracted discussion, only Councilmember Jo Anne Johnson joined Kaho‘ohalahala in the “nay” column, which means, barring an unexpected twist, McOmber’s LC run will continue. – Jacob Shafer, MauiTime