The clock is ticking, and all the players have arrived.
With new chair Victoria Marks leading her first meeting since being appointed by the Hawaii Supreme Court last week, Hawaii’s Reapportionment Commission on Wednesday afternoon started to lay out the roadmap it will follow as it redraws federal and state legislative districts for the first time in a decade. The commission has 100 days from the day Marks was appointed to publish a draft reapportionment plan for public comment.
One of the full commission’s first acts was delegating power to a subcommittee that will do the lion’s share of the heavy lifting. The technical committee will meet more frequently than the full body and will deal with the nuanced aspects of determining district boundaries.
It is composed of one representative of each of the four appointing authorities — Lorrie Lee Stone, who was appointed by Senate President Shan Tsutsui; Calvert Chipchase, appointed by Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom; Clarice Hashimoto, appointed by House Speaker Calvin Say; and Dylan Nonaka, appointed by House Minority Leader Gene Ward. In the event that one is unable to make a meeting, a substitute, presumably the other appointee from the same source, will attend in his or her stead.
The commission tabbed Democratic attorney Tony Takitani and Hawaii Republican Party Executive Director Dylan Nonaka as vice chairs. The two had represented their respective parties in negotiations about who should be picked as the body’s ninth member, but were unable to reach an agreement in time, forcing the Supreme Court’s hand.
The commission also scheduled future meetings: May 11, May 24 and June 9. The island advisory councils will be invited to attend the May 24 meeting and give input on the natural geographic boundaries and distribution of ethnic groups. Thirteen of 16 advisory council members have been officially appointed. Elections chief Scott Nago said Slom’s three neighbor island picks have yet to be received.
(Slom told Civil Beat last month that he’s tabbed Big Island attorney Ted Hong and former Maui lawmaker Fred Rohlfing and that he was working on finding an appointee from Kauai.)
The commission also met in executive session to discuss applicants for four staff positions: Administrative Assistant, Geographic Information Specialist Analyst, Reapportionment Project Manager and Secretary.
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