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Hawaii News

Search for commission chairman falls to the state’s Supreme Court

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The state Supreme Court began soliciting for nominees yesterday to lead the Hawaii Reapportionment Commission after the eight sitting members announced they have been unable to reach consensus on a ninth member to serve as chairman.

Information on how to apply was posted on the state Judiciary’s website.

The commission has eight members — two members each appointed by Dem­o­cratic and Republican leadership in the House and Senate.

"It’s just finding somebody that is acceptable to both sides," Dylan Nonaka, temporary chairman and executive director of the state GOP, said of the selection proc­ess. "We need to get six members to vote for the chair. At this point we haven’t been able to get six members."

Once constituted May 1, the commission has 100 days to complete its work, redrawing the state’s political boundaries to reflect population changes in the most recent U.S. Census. The commission has scheduled a follow-up meeting Thursday.

"The commission’s got to get to work because the 100-day clock starts ticking, and we’ve got to get all of that done so people can start preparing to run for office next year," Nonaka said.

Meanwhile, the commission adopted its rules for the upcoming proc­ess.

Among the notable changes, the commission approved a change allowing for public notice of meetings three days in advance, as opposed to the standard six days for boards and commissions.

Commissioner Anthony Taki­tani, who proposed the change, said it was not meant to shut out the public, but to give members flexibility for taking up items that might require immediate attention, given the commission’s tight deadline.

Members also formed a subcommittee to study and recommend staffing needs and review technical contracts and software that will be needed.

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On the Net:

» State Judiciary: www.courts.state.hi.us

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