There’s always something interesting going on at Honolulu Hale.

Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

3:03 p.m. Homeless Possessions Bill Advances

A bill that would create a process for removing personal belongings from public properties like parks and sidewalks is one step closer to becoming law.

After a mix of testimony in support and opposed, the Honolulu City Council a few minutes ago passed Bill 54 without making amendments.

The bill now heads back to committee for more work before emerging for third reading, possibly as soon as next month.

Read more about the proposal here: Honolulu Homeless Target Of Belongings Ban? and A Second Crack at Clearing Honolulu’s Sidewalks

1:32 p.m. APEC Reimbursement Reso Adopted

The resolution that would ask the state to ask the federal government to reimburse the city $37 million for extra security costs associated with APEC has been adopted unanimously — without public testimony, discussion, objections or reservations.

It will now go to the Hawaii State Association of Counties, and we’ll find out in a few months if the state is interested in passing the message along.

Read the full story here.

12:39 p.m. Airport Sheriffs Get Pepperball, Too

Blogger Ian Lind today reports that the Sheriff Division’s Airport Patrol is boosting its arsenal with $7,692 worth of “pepperball projectiles, launchers, loaders, and related equipment.”

Read the story here.

That purchase is in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the Honolulu Police Department has spent on Tasers, pepper spray and bean bag projectiles in advance of APEC.

11:59 a.m. Berg’s Rail Charter Amendment Dies

A resolution introduced by anti-rail Council member Tom Berg that would have put on the ballot a question asking voters if they wanted to stop steel-on-steel rail has died.

It’s rare for matters to fail to pass first reading, but Berg’s resolution was seen as dangerous by colleagues. Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson said he’s been told explicitly by the Federal Transit Administration that such a charter amendment would result in the federal government demanding all of its funding returned.

Chair Ernie Martin said even considering the resolution could be viewed as a lack of confidence.

Ann Kobayashi was the lone member to join Berg in voting to move it out for public hearing. Earlier in the meeting she said she always votes for matters on first reading, regardless of the content of the proposal, because she thinks the public should get a chance to weigh in on all ideas.

11:05 a.m. Sign Bill Deferred

A bill that would limit the number and size of political signs on private property has been deferred, and it might be in serious trouble when it comes back on the agenda next month.

Bill 47 drew a handful of testimonies in opposition just now, and the short list of written testimonies submitted to the Council don’t look much better.

The concerns seem to have reached Council members.

Tom Berg, Breene Harimoto, Tulsi Gabbard and Stanley Chang all expressed First Amendment concerns about the bill. They said it would limit political speech, and went too far in its search for a way to stop visual blight in Honolulu’s neighborhoods.

Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson, the primary sponsor of the bill, said he intends to push for passage at the Dec. 7 meeting.

10:36 a.m. ‘An Unsuccessful Third Generation Real Estate Developer’

The Council has just unanimously adopted the resolution appointing Cord Anderson to the Honolulu Planning Commission.

But it wasn’t without dissent.

In testimony submitted to the Council and emailed to Civil Beat, Jeannine Johnson criticized the selection:

I oppose Cord Anderson’s nomination to the Planning Commission because he is not only a third generation real estate developer, he is an unsuccessful third generation real estate developer. His most recent project with his father and brother, the purchase and renovation of the Honolulu landmark hotel the Ilikai, went into foreclosure in just 3 years short years. Grandson to developer D.G. Andy Anderson, the nominee was responsible for overseeing the $60 million renovation at the Ilikai, which never became a reality. His second project, The Lotus at Diamond Head hotel, the former W Honolulu Hotel, also went into foreclosure before his company filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

The City Planning Commission is supposed to be a lay group of people that reviews various permit applications, including special use permits, zone changes and changes to our development/sustainable plans. If the City Council doesn’t stop putting developers, and now bad developers, on the Planning Commission, every inch of O‘ahu will be covered in cement. It is truly incomprehensible as to why someone with Mr. Anderson’s failing record would even be considered, unless it was because of his familial connections.

The residents of the City and County of Honolulu deserve better.

Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson, a second cousin of Cord Anderson’s, recused himself from discussion and voting, just as he did in committee.

10:24 a.m. Lecture From A Freethinker

Evelyn Souza, a staffer in Honolulu City Council member Tom Berg has just given today’s “Message of Aloha.” As soon as she finished, Mitchell Kahle and Holly Huber testified on the practice.

Kahle, wearing a black T-shirt with the word “Freethinker” printed on it, challenged Council members on the frequency that the message is used to proselytize and offer Christian prayers to Jesus Christ. Turning to Chair Ernie Martin, Kahle said he’ll be watching closely in coming months and will be filing a lawsuit as soon as he sees a violation of the U.S. Constitution, just as he’s done against the state government.

The tone was unmistakable. It’s a threat.

Breene Harimoto, who has referenced God in political discussions before, shot back: “My bible teaches me and my God teaches me to love and respect everyone.”

9:43 a.m. $37 Million, Please

A resolution introduced by Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin and member Stanley Chang estimates the cost of providing extra security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit at $37 million.

And it says that because the federal government is getting the benefits from the event, the federal government should cover the tab.

Read the full story here.

9:17 a.m. Missed Deadline?

Did the City and County of Honolulu miss a key deadline in its race to keep $8 million in federal funds that were funneled to a troubled elderly care center?

The city’s response to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development was due Oct. 31, but HUD says it hadn’t received anything as of 8 p.m. Nov. 1.

Read more over at DC808.

8:41 a.m. Berg: Split Up Ewa Beach

When the Honolulu Council Reapportionment Commission was discussing redistricting plans that would split Ewa Beach in half along Fort Weaver Road, some said the community wouldn’t like it because it would dilute the area into two separate Honolulu City Council districts.

Tom Berg, who represents Ewa Beach and the Leeward Coast under the existing map, sees it differently.

In a wide-ranging newsletter sent to supporters Tuesday, Berg asked folks to come testify at the Commission’s next meeting — and to express their support for the current proposal.

When Waipahu had three City Council members representing them, the Waipahu community benefited – they now have two council members fighting for them. Dividing up Waipahu did not hurt them, but rather gave them more power. Ewa Beach has a great opportunity in this latest redistricting plan to get a second voting member to sit on the Honolulu City Council. This would empower Ewa Beach and make it stronger – giving it more say at City Hall. This would mean two votes out of nine to fight for traffic relief, repairing of roads, and on and on for the growing area. Please show your support for that added council seat by attending the November 10, City Reapportionment meeting to be held at Honolulu Hale at 4pm.

In contrast, I will be at the meeting requesting to the commissioners that the historic Ewa Villages community not be cut into two sections since their association bylaws have to be reviewed and approved by the City and also the State Historical Preservation Division when amendments to governing documents for the association are proposed. This historic district is the only one of its kind in the entire State and when I applied for grant monies to preserve the Manager’s Mansion years ago, having the district remain contiguous in one council district for CIP’s and processing forms for awards and grants at the federal level was paramount. Therefore, I ask for your support to plea to the commissioners with me that the dividing line as it is currently being proposed, should be changed from the plan that depicts Renton Road as the line separating Council District One with Council District Nine, and rather make that dividing line be Geiger Road instead. This change to remove Renton Road as the split in favor of Geiger Road would ensure that historic Ewa Villages with its unique circumstances and features remains in one district for grant writing purposes to perpetuate the preservation of this historic community and its assets.

For example, when Ewa by Gentry or Ocean Pointe community associations want to change their bylaws, outside of recordation, the City, State, and Federal entities do not play a part, unlike historic Ewa Villages where all agencies imaginable have a say to some degree. For more details – check out the website.

8:18 a.m. Two Days

Just in case you missed it on Civil Beat yesterday: Disgraced former Honolulu City Council member and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Rod Tam was sentenced to two days in jail for theft and falsifying public documents.

The sentence also includes hundreds of hours of community service and allows Tam the opportunity to have his record wiped clean if he stays out of trouble for a year.

He’ll serve the jail sentence from Dec. 30, 2011 to Jan. 1, 2012, meaning he’ll be celebrating New Year’s behind bars — unless he gets out early for good behavior.

8:03 a.m. Kauai Hiking Water Rates, Too

Honolulu’s Board of Water Supply may want to re-think its proposed rate hike, but one of the neighbor islands is moving forward on a price increase of its own.

The Kauai Department of Water board of directors will meet this week to consider a rate increase for residential and agricultural customers that could range from 7.5 percent per year for four years to 11.2 percent per year for four years.

Read more over at The Garden Island.

7:41 a.m. On The Agenda

It’s rare for the full Honolulu City Council to meet somewhere other than the third floor at Honolulu Hale. Today, we’ll be in Kapolei, and a number of items on the agenda will impact our host community.

Here are some of those items that we highlighted earlier:

  • Public hearing for Bill 50, amending the Waianae Sustainable Communities Plan.
  • Resolution 11-263, which would urge the city to develop a public shooting complex in Kalaeloa.
  • Resolution 11-283, which would urge the city to develop a public-private partnership for a paintball gaming complex in Kalaeloa.

There are some other matters of more general interest that will also come up today:

  • Third reading of Bill 47, which would regulate the number and size of political signs on private property.
  • Resolution 11-327, which would require that Council members who disclose a conflict of interest also abstain from voting on those matters in which they have a conflict of interest.
  • Resolution 11-328, which would instruct the City Clerk to put a question on the ballot to ask voters to cancel steel-on-steel rail technology for Honolulu.
  • Bill 54, which would disallow storing personal belongings on public property and create a mechanism to confiscate those belongings.

7:28 a.m. Today’s Council Honorees

The Honolulu City Council meeting today in Kapolei gets started at 10 a.m. (more on that in a bit), but before the real business there is the matter of honoring community members who have given back.

Here’s the list of honorees for today’s meeting:

Where’s Carlisle?

Mayor Peter Carlisle has no events on his public schedule today.

Read Previous Editions of Inside Honolulu

November 1: Rod Tam Sentencing Today; Where’s Carlisle?

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