Lawsuit also takes aim at how Council vacancy was filled

Ikaika M Hussey

The biotech firms suing Kauai County aren’t just contesting the law – they’re trying to rewind the dramatic vote on Bill 2491:

As part of their complaint filed against Kauai County last Friday, the biotech seed companies are seeking to void the County Council’s selection of Mason Chock to fill a vacancy on that panel.

If they are successful in voiding Chock’s appointment, it would also invalidate the Council’s vote to override Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s veto of Bill 2419. The Council, recognizing it did not have the votes for an override, recessed and appointed Chock to complete the term of Nadine Nakamura, who resigned from the Council to work as the mayor’s top aide. Chock went on to support the override.

Journalist Joan Conrow went back through the last two vacancies on the Kauai County Council and found that the process hasn’t been consistent for picking replacements.

Joel Guy, a member of the County’s Charter Commisssion, wrote a response to Conrow’s post:

Great topic for the Charter Commission to look at, I will request the chair puts this on our agenda. We put things on the ballot for the public to vote on. We do not change the charter. The power is with the people on whether it is a change to the charter. We (7 people) have to vote to put a proposal on the ballot. Come to a meeting, speak up, this is another way for public participation in county government.

It’s nice to see some forward movement.