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East Hawaii Annual Membership – Notes & Photos

February 6, 2010

Some of our members prior to the meeting

East Hawaii Annual General Membership Meeting        February 5, 2010            Encore Restaurant

    Welcome and recognition of guests Justin Wong, State HSTA-R President, Marvel Bento, HIRTA President, Gayle Ito, newly retired and current Council members present started the program at 9:15 am.

Copies of last year’s minutes and current District budget were distributed.

President’s Report was distributed and Lorraine gave highlights of each activity.

Sign up sheets for two March Community Service Projects were circulated.

 Short business meeting was called to order by President Lorraine Hora at 9:40 am.

1.      Slate of nominees for Hawaii District Council, 2010 – 2012, was introduced.  Floor was open for further nominations.  Joe Tanaka moved to close nominations and have  the slate of nominees elected by affirmation.  Bettye Wakabayashi seconded the motion.  Motion was carried.

2.      Slate of nominees for four delegates to the HSTA-R State Delegate Assembly was introduced.  Floor was open for further nominations. Marlyn Akiona was nominated but she declined, Bettye Wakabayashi moved to close nominations. Elaine Nakaoka seconded the motion. Motion was carried.  Election by ballot was conducted.  Results will be compiled together with West Hawaii voting. The highest four vote getters will be delegates and the others will be alternates.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:48 am.

 Steve Ono gave an update on legislative bills in the current session. He shared handouts of bills HSTA is monitoring.

Pahala members

Justin Wong, State HSTA-R President, addressed the group on VEBA, State elections, changes in the HSTA structure and its staff, and the ongoing effort to reach a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between HSTA and HSTA-R.

 Joe Tanaka spoke about the progress of the COLA bill carried over from last session which would grant retirees over 70 years of age some compensation for each year of service. His committee is still working on improving the post retirement allowance (PRA) to a fairer and equitable level.

Mayor Kenoi was keynote speaker at our annual function

Our featured speaker, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi, captivated everyone with his “pidgin”

anecdotal  memories of high school and the influence of Ellen Kamau and Marlyn Akiona in guiding his dream of pursuing a law degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He regards teachers and education very highly. In choosing his support staff upon his election as County Mayor, he followed 3 E’s and 3 C’s – education, experience and expertise in each field but also having compassion/caring for people, being committed/accountable to the community, and having courage to make decisions/accepting responsibility for consequences. When asked about the budget deficit, he reassured us that he will fight to retain the Transient Accommodation Tax (TAT) money for the County, that he plans to reduce the size of government through retirement and attrition, that he will keep projects moving as they create jobs and confidence, and that he will not diminish programs for the youth or kupuna. His philosophy includes being respectful, treating everyone with aloha and working really hard.

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