Ocean View gets county council videoconferencing
By NANCY COOK LAUER
Just two weeks before she’s set to leave office, Ka‘u Councilwoman Brittany Smart is fulfilling a campaign pledge she made two years ago to make County Council meetings more accessible to her far-flung constituents.
Ka‘u residents who want to testify at — or just watch — the County Council meetings next week will be able to do so at the Ocean View Community Association building as the council tests videoconferencing equipment. Committees meet at the West Hawaii Civic Center on Tuesday at 9 a.m. The council meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“By the skin of my teeth, I was making sure that was done,” Smart said Friday. “It’s been a long, drawn-out process.”
Smart had originally wanted a full-fledged council district office in Ka‘u so she could meet with constituents and get other work done without having to make the long haul to Hilo or Kailua-Kona. But budget constraints and a space crunch made that goal unattainable over her two-year term.
Smart, a freshman, decided not to run for re-election after redistricting threw her in the same council district as South Kona Councilwoman Brenda Ford.
The process of hooking up a Ka‘u site was complicated by the shortage of appropriate space in Naalehu. Smart had sought a site there because its halfway between Pahala and Ocean View. But a site couldn’t be found that had the required parking and Internet hookups, she said.
The money for the equipment came from the Ka‘u district’s office budget, she said. In addition, it will cost $100 per day for each meeting at the community center for rental and cleaning fees. Smart didn’t know how much the equipment cost. The County Clerk’s Office was also unable to provide a figure by press time Friday.
If all goes as planned next week, the council plans a pilot project to continue working out the kinks before the site can be considered permanent.
“I am really happy this is going forward,” Smart said. “It’s been a long time in the making but at least we’re taking that first step.”
Email Nancy Cook Lauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.