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Council, clerk establish own ‘Green Team’

Karin Stanton/Hawaii247 Contributing Editor

We should be really green by the time they are done.

A week after Kohala Councilman Pete Hoffmann’s legislative aide was invited to not participate in the “Mayor’s Green Team,” the council and county clerk’s office are doing their own green thing.

Hoffmann’s aide, Kareen Forrissier, had been asked to join in on the mayor’s team, which was officially introduced at a press conference in May.

A May 21 press release hailing Mayor Billy Kenoi’s “Green Team” noted the county has “embarked on a wide range of energy sustainability initiatives and programs that are part of a comprehensive approach to the environment that is unprecedented on the county level.”

In his remarks, Kenoi called on “every resident of our island, every home, business and family, to think seriously about how they can apply good environmental practices, be more energy efficient and to take at least one positive step toward sustainability.”

Apparently, the council and the clerk’s office will have to do their serious thinking and take their positive steps on their own. 

Forrissier was informed by a member of the “Mayor’s Green Team” that: 1) too many people were on the team; 2) her involvement muddied the Legislative-Executive Branch separation; and 3) she works for Hoffmann, who may be a mayoral candidate in 2012.

Hoffmann did not directly address the rumor of his candidacy in an Aug. 8 opinion piece, and never has announced his plans for 2012.

In response to the thinning of the “Mayor’s Green Team” – which is tasked with “propos(ing) creative ways to meet the energy demands of our county, businesses and residents and to make our island more energy self-sufficient” and “build(ing) better efficiencies into county programs and activities” – the County Clerk’s Office issued the following statement Aug. 13:

The County Council and the County Clerk’s Office announce they are forming their own “Green Team”.   

After discussing the matter with key members of the mayor’s Green Team, the Council/Clerk’s Office decided to form its own “team.” 

The new team aims to complement and expand on the work of mayor’s Green Team, tailoring its mission to fit the employees of the department and the people they serve. 

“It’s quite refreshing to see the positive outpouring of ideas and energy in support of a Legislative Green Team,” Council Chairman J Yoshimoto said.  “We are blessed to have an abundance of personnel within the county who volunteer their time and talents for the benefit of the county as a whole.  We anticipate the newly formed team will have a positive impact within the department as well with our communities.” 

The newly formed team will be looking to the mayor’s team for guidance and support. At this time, it is not anticipated the team will be authoring legislation to be placed on future council agendas.  

The focus of the team will be to provide education and information for departmental personnel. 

The Council/Clerk’s Office’s team will fall under the direction of Deputy County Clerk Rodney Oshiro.

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