`Good sense’

June 24th, 2011

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, asked Thursday night whether he has heard from the 28 members of boards and commissions that he has asked to resign, said: “Some people I have, some people I haven’t.”

“I just think it makes good sense for anybody who comes in to do it. So I thought, as I said, quite candidly for them, this is not a comment on your service any more than it was for the elected Board of Education (replaced by an appointed board),” the governor told reporters after a community meeting at Washington Middle School.

“But I think the record so far of the appointed board is pretty good, and I’d just like that opportunity. There’s a lot of things that, as you can see tonight, people are anxious about, they’re a little bit scared, they’re a little concerned that we’re not going to be able to move on things like housing that fast enough.

“So I just simply wanted the opportunity to be able to put forward our vision.”

Earlier Thursday, William Aila, Abercrombie’s choice as director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources and the chairman of the land board, said the board’s six other members do not have to resign and would likely stay on until their terms expire.

Two board members — Robert Pacheco of the Big Island and Ron Agor of Kauai — said they would not resign. The others either declined comment, said they would inform the governor in writing, or were not available for comment.

*Update: Lisa Judge, who represents Maui on the Land Use Commission, said Friday that she will not resign.

12 Responses to “`Good sense’”

  1. Gov. Volcano Mouth:

    Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.

  2. Kolea:

    Asking for these resignations troubles me in two ways. Neil argues it will help him move ahead more quickly if all the board members and commissioners share his vision. After all, there is an urgent need for jobs and housing. Neil argues further that he is obliged to fulfill the campaign promises contained in his “New Day” agenda.

    I’m not sure if Neil is arguing this is a special case, an emergency, which causes him to set aside the constitutional system of staggered terms and “semi-autonomy” for the boards, or if he simply believe ANY governor under normal conditions deserve such powers.

    Since it is a “request” and not a demand, some might argue it is not “unconstitutional.” but the attitude towards executive power displayed in this action is clearly in opposition to the constitutional framework.

    My second concern is the “tone-deafness” Abercrombie displays in thinking such a request is appropriate. What does it say about the decision-making process of his “kitchen cabinet” circle that they would either agree with this or fail to convince him it is a bad idea, both as an approach to the constitution and as “politics.” He is clearly not going to succeed in getting many resignations. Nor will this succeed politically, either in terms of gaining publc sympathy or in pre-fabricating an excuse for a lack of success.”Hey, I WOULD have delivered on my promises, but you guys turned me down when I asked for extraordinary powers.”

    I first met Abercrombie when I was in high school. He was campaigning for “Super Senator.” As a kid, I kinda liked the theater of it. Heck, we NEEDED a politician who fearlessly stood “for Truth, Justice and the American Way.” But as I’ve aged, perhaps become wiser, I’ve come to appreciate that we live in a pluralist society with conflicting visions of Truth, Justice, etc. We have wisely structured checks and balances into our decisionmaking processes to prevent one person’s “Truth” from “rolling over” other people’s viewof the Truth without “due process.”

    As a kid in high school, may have wanted a Super Senator to look after me. But as an adult, I see the idea of Super Governor to be, ultimately, boneheaded. Democratic institutions may take a bit more time, but they are still the best way of resolving conflicting visions of what kind of Hawaii we want to live in.

  3. ohiaforest3400:

    If it makes such “good sense,” did he ask for resignations from all of the hundreds of appointees on the dozens of boards and commissions to which they are appointed? Or only those critical to his “New Day” initiatives, leaving the previous governor’s political hacks to fill dead space on unimportant ones?

    Humpty Dumpty sits on a wall,

    Humpty Dumpty risks a great fall,

    All the troll’s stooges and all the troll’s men,

    May not be able to stuff Humpty Dumpty again.

  4. zzzzzz:

    Wasn’t the voting public’s choice of an appointed BOE a comment on the service of the elected board?

  5. OTTO:

    It’s all relative. Majority voted for an appointed BOE (and the Gov appointed an entire board). The Legislature changed the rules for appointments to the UH BOR, making it so the Gov could only appoint from a list of nominees prepared by a special committee. Gov Lingle complained saying it took away from her choice. I didn’t hear the public complain…. Everyone complains that the PUC just rubberstamps rate increase by HECO, Young Brothers, Oceanic, etc. Well this is a chance for a clean sweep. Everyone complains about DLNR (well hears a chance to cleanse the Board)…. Now Gov Abercrombie want to blow everything up and start over…. the public complains…

  6. zipinparadise:

    I just can’t figure why some people are getting their panties in such a bunch over this. He was elected as the state executive leader very recently. In most states the resignation of board members on a new administration would be a given. Why shouldn’t our new leader have the people he wants to put forward his plan? That is hardly “anti-democratic”. I would even call it bold leadership.

  7. ohiaforest3400:

    Kolea, of all the profundly wise posts you have shared in this forum, I think this one may well top the list.

  8. Untangled undies:

    “In most states the resignation of board members on a new administration would be a given.”

    But this ain’t “most states,” and that sure ain’t the precedent here. And on top of all his other dictatorial bumbling, he just ain’t smellin’ too good right now.

    How you like them panties?

  9. Walking Vaughn:

    After 37 years, you guys are finally noticing that Neil Abercrombie is an incompetent, blustering, gasbag? Pathetic.

  10. hmmm:

    This kind of action would undo Abercrombie and jeopardize his re-election except for the fact that there is simply no Republican in Hawaii that has any chance of winning a statewide race against an entrenched and well funded Dem with name recognition.

    I imagine this fuels the bad decision making.

  11. Goober:

    If there were integrity in each person and if they are not doing their job as the people want, then they should resign.

    Governor Abercrombie is doing this as a warning. Their term soon to be up, there will not be a second. To get people some people moving forward they need a warning or kick in their behind to get moving in the right direction. Persuasion to boot.

  12. Casimira Schisler:

    Lmfao, The hitting piece was surprising mainly because hell.. REWIIIIND!!

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