Last month, we told you about the case of Ron McOmber, the Adjudication Board nominee (and former Liquor Commission and Adjudication member) who the County Council rejected after past allegations of sexual harassment and other issues were brought forward. The current nominee for that still-vacant Adjudication seat is Linda Fernandez, who’s awaiting Council approval. Both McOmber and Fernandez are from Lanai.
This led several readers to ask if there are currently any Lanai residents on either of the LC’s boards. The answer is no. Now, there’s no rule that says all parts of the county must be represented on boards and commissions. The County Charter says only that when making appointments, “the mayor shall give due consideration to balanced geographic representation.” So how balanced are the LC boards?
The Adjudication Board has eight members (minus the empty seat). At present, it breaks down like this: two (Donald Fujii and Bill Kanaka) from Wailuku, two (Marilyn Colvin and Marilyn Chapman) from Kihei, one (Ralph Masdada) from Kula, one (Glenn Kunitake) from Kahului and one (Jerrybeth DeMello) from Lahaina. The nine members of the Liquor Commission, meanwhile, are dispersed thusly: three (Edwin Yokouchi, Robert Tanaka and Lee Ohigashi) from Wailuku, two (James Gomes and Monica Revells) from Kula and one each from Lahaina (Blackie Gadarian), Pukalani (Merlyn Winters), Kihei (M.D. Alborano) and Molokai (Henry Kauka Jr.).
That’s a decent sampling all things considered. The fact that, say, Makawao doesn’t have a rep doesn’t seem like such a big deal; someone from Kula or Pukalani probably has that area covered. On the other hand, you could argue that it’s essential for Lanai and Molokai to both be represented since only a resident would have adequate knowledge of the liquor-selling establishments in those places (insert joke about LC boardmembers’ knowledge of liquor-selling establishments and liquor in general here). Which makes it a good thing (in theory) that Fernandez—who Mayoral assistant Marian Feenstra told LC Watch was the “only other person on the list”—applied.