Posted by: lokahipath | June 21, 2011

Gov. Abercrombie asks BLNR, LUC, to resign

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i Gov. Neil Abercrombie sought resignations from members of five key state boards and commissions who were appointed by former Gov. Linda Lingle, and he’s leaving his picks in place, his administration confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday.

Abercrombie sent letters last week asking for the voluntary resignations of 28 people who are members of the Aloha Stadium Authority, Public Utilities Commission, Board of Land and Natural Resources, Land Use Commission and Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority.

The governor said he needs collaboration among state agencies so he can achieve his goals for maintaining public housing facilities, developing a statewide vision for sporting events and changing management policies for the state’s limited land resources.

“It’s important that all boards and commissions have the opportunity to have a fresh start, so they can work in alignment with other state agencies and move quickly on important issues,” Abercrombie said in a statement Monday. “The people of Hawai‘i voted for a change in direction, a New Day. I need the opportunity to move forward with a team dedicated to that proposition.”

The Democratic governor said his request for resignations isn’t a reflection on board members’ service or personalities.

Those board members not asked to resign include Public Utilities Commission Chairwoman Hermina Morita, the only Abercrombie appointee to these panels so far confirmed by the state Senate.

Others exempt from the resignation request are three members of the Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority — the governor’s representative to the board, Debbie Shimizu; the Department of Human Services representative, Deputy Director Pankaj Bhanot; and the attorney general’s representative, Krislen Chun.

Five other members on the HPHA board were asked to resign, and the board has four vacancies.

All nine members of the Aloha Stadium Authority, six members of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, two members of the Public Utilities Commission and six members of the Land Use Commission were asked to step down.

A seat on the Board of Land and Natural Resources and three spots on the Land Use Commission are vacant.

None of the 28 people being asked to quit have a legal obligation to do so, and many of them have terms that don’t expire until 2014.

Most were appointed to four-year terms by Lingle, a Republican who served eight years in office before Abercrombie was elected in November.

At least one person so far has signaled an intention to resign, said Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz.

Governor defends requests to resign

He says his asking appointees to quit does not reflect the quality of service

By Star-Advertiser staff

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Jun 21, 2011

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Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Monday that his request that more than two dozen appointed members of state boards and commissions resign was not a reflection of their service or an issue of personalities.

The Democratic governor sent letters last week to 28 appointees of the state Public Utilities Commission, Land Use Commission, Public Housing Authority, Board of Land and Natural Resources and the Stadium Authority. The appointees were selected by former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Republican, and confirmed by the state Senate.

The governor said he took the step to gain more flexibility in implementing his “A New Day in Hawaii” plan.

The appointees do not have to resign and can choose to remain until their terms expire, he said. “Our administration needs to be able to work collaboratively with our boards and commissions to get work done in the public’s best interest,” Abercrombie said in a statement.

“This includes a new approach to maintaining our public housing units so residents can live safely and with dignity; developing a statewide vision for our sporting events and venues; and changing our policies for managing and utilizing our limited resources and land.

“As with the Board of Education, it’s important that all boards and commissions have the opportunity to have a fresh start, so they can work in alignment with other state agencies and move quickly on important issues.

“My request for individuals to voluntarily resign is not a reflection of their service nor an issue of personalities. The people of Hawaii voted for a change in direction; a New Day. I need the opportunity to move forward with a team dedicated to that proposition.”

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