S Memo 13-7

Posted on Jun 28, 2013 in Informal Opinions - Sunshine Law

S Memo 13-7
June 28, 2013
Council Vote to Confirm the Mayor’s Appointees
to County Boards & Commissions

On January 21, 2010, the Kauai County Council (Council) held two publicly noticed meetings.  At the first meeting, the Council interviewed each individual who had been appointed by the Mayor to a County board or commission (Appointee), as named on the Council’s agenda.  At the second meeting on the same day, the Council voted to confirm each Appointee.  In order to prepare and present public testimony about the Appointees at the Council’s meeting, the Requester had made a written request on January 11, 2010, to the Office of the County Clerk (Clerk) seeking access to each Appointee’s completed “Application to Board or Commission” form (Application) under the Uniform Information Practices Act (Modified), chapter 92F, HRS (UIPA), but was not granted access to the Applications in time for the Council’s meetings on January 21.  Requester thus asked OIP for an investigation into whether the Council violated the Sunshine Law by voting to confirm each Appointee when the public had not yet been given access to the Applications completed and submitted by the Appointees.   

OIP determined that neither the Sunshine Law, nor the UIPA, restricted the Council from voting to confirm the Appointees when the Appointees’ Applications had not yet been made publicly available upon request. While the delay in providing access to the requested Applications was unfortunate in this case, the agencies involved in the appointment process have revised the Application form in order to prevent similar delays.