UPDATED 9/9/14 3:45 p.m.

The Hawaii Community Development Authority board is planning to meet to decide whether or not to appoint a committee that could increase Executive Directory Anthony Ching’s salary by as much as $20,000.

UPDATE The meeting was supposed to be held on Tuesday at noon but will be rescheduled because the board didn’t have enough members to meet quorum.

The meeting will be closed to the public, pursuant to a Hawaii law that allows the board to hold closed meetings if they deal with private matters of an employee.

Our Kakaako FULL

HCDA is in charge of development in Kakaako, where more high-rises have been sprouting up this year.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

According to Tuesday’s agenda, the HCDA board is scheduled to decide whether to appoint a committee that will develop a process to evaluate Ching’s performance; conduct a performance evaluation; and set his salary to match the recommended salary of the director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

The committee’s work would be confidential under the same exception to the Sunshine Law allowing the meeting to be closed to the public.

DBEDT is one of several departments within the executive branch that manage statewide programs. HCDA is an agency within DBEDT, and manages development in Kakaako, Kalaeloa and Heeia.

The development agency has been highly criticized over the past several months for approving controversial high-rise developments, sparking litigation and legislation to reign in its authority.

Ching’s salary was $110,244.00 in 2013, while the state salary commission recommended DBEDT Director Richard Lim’s salary be $136,212 as of July 1, 2014.

Sharon Moriwaki, president of the group Kakaako United, wrote a letter to the board on Sept. 6 criticizing the proposal and confidentiality of the meeting.

“Is the HCDA board audacious enough to think it can establish the HCDA executive director salary at the same level as DBEDT Director Lim rather than to a comparable position such as the HHFDC executive director?” she wrote. “It would be ill advised for this lame-duck board to do so.”

The Legislature passed a law earlier this year that will change the makeup of the HCDA board, but that won’t happen until next spring.

Moriwaki also said residents have a right to know how Ching will be evaluated and that a committee made up of more diverse stakeholders should be appointed to conduct the performance review.

“We have seen too much bias toward developers, backroom decision-making, lack of notice and engagement of the community surrounding the development projects, and too little regard for the laws and rules governing HCDA and the Kakaako District,” she wrote. “The board is cautioned from leaving yet another legacy of disservice to the community and state it has vowed to serve.”

Read the full letter below:

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