EC Reactivates Project #7
Water Use Plan to provide research results
Project Leader and Chair of the Water Task Force, Kammy Purdy discusses the importance of reactivating Project #7 in order to continue developing a viable water use plan for Molokai.
By Jennifer Smith
The Molokai Enterprise Community’s (EC) Board of Directors voted last week Thursday to reactivate a controversial water use project. The Water Use Plan, or Project #7, now focuses on producing water research results and does not include a water moratorium, according to EC Board President Stacy Helm-Crivello.
Before the vote, a presentation on the benefits of reactivating Project #7 was provided by Project Leader Kammy Purdy.
Purdy, who is also Chair of the Water Task Force, regularly meets with a water working group to discuss the status of Molokai’s water resources.
The group headed by Charley Ice, from the Commission on Water Resource Management, will soon run out of funding. Purdy said the reactivation of Project #7 could allow for the group to continue meeting and gathering data on where Molokai’s water resources lie.
“We need to somehow keep the meetings going,” Purdy said. “I think this project could do it.”
The water working group first met in 1996 to find out how much water the island had, at which time they concluded Molokai did not have enough resources to adequately serve the population. Today the group has approximately 25 members from all over the island, according to Purdy.
“I believe that it is a good project and we have a good group,” Purdy said.
The EC board clarified that the project’s title is officially “Water Use Plan” and the term “Water Moratorium” had no direct relation to the project.
However, a 2002 EC Benchmark Summary Report of the Water Use Plan states that it would: “1) Establish a moratorium on water allocation, 2) Create an island-wide water management plan.” The report was filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Benchmark Management System.
After an extended discussion by the board on the nature of the reactivated project, only the creation of an island-wide water management plan was acknowledged in the current description. The moratorium, which would have placed restrictions on water transfers from the East End of the island to the West End, was not mentioned.
“It is really coming out brand new,” Helm-Crivello said. “The goal is to come up with results.”
Board member Sybil Lopez thanked Purdy for taking the steps to keep the project going. “I think it’s a really good start … people coming from Maui and Oahu to help us out with our water is fantastic.”
The board also passed motions to accept an Executive Session Policy, to electronically vote on the approval of the KAL 2007 Annual Report and to allow the Board Development Committee to meet and decide on a date and procedures for the 2008 KAL Board of Directors elections. With no date set, board members whose seats are expired will continue to serve until elections are held.
The EC will also be holding an open call for a new Executive Director in the upcoming months. The current Executive Director, Abbey Mayer recently received an appointment by Governor Linda Lingle to serve as director of the state Office of Planning.
Mayer will begin his Office of Planning position on Feb. 20; however, it is subject to a confirmation from the Senate in April. Absent from the Jan. 24 meeting, he began a vacation on Jan. 25 and will not return until Feb. 12.
The position for a new Executive Director will be open to the public and the EC will be working with the Research Corporation of the University of Hawaii (RCUH) to recruit for the position.
Board President Helm-Crivello said she will act as a volunteer Executive Director until the position is filled. She said a conflict of interest does not exist because she will not be paid for either position.
EC Board of Directors present at the meeting included Richard Cooke, Sybil Lopez, Joshua Pastrana, John Pele, Russell Kallstom, Stacy Helm-Crivello, Bridget Mowat, Leila Stone, Cheryl Corbiel and Shannon Crivello.
The previous meeting, held in December 2007, established that the EC, also known as Ke Aupuni Lokahi (KAL), could choose to conduct portions of their proceedings in private for purposes of efficiency. However, on Jan. 24 the EC made it through their entire agenda with the public present.
The next EC meeting will also be the KAL Annual Board Meeting and will be held on Feb. 21 at 4:45 p.m. in the DHHL conference room.