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Solomon: Concerns on PLDC must be addressed


“Insuring that the residents of Hawaii directly benefit from the thousands of acres they own as public lands throughout the State – and putting in place 21st century partnership strategies to protect and appropriately steward these lands now and for future generations – these are the reasons I voted for the Public Land Development Corporation – Act 55, which was passed by the 2011 Legislature,” said Sen. Malama Solomon (District 1, Waimea, Hamakua, North Hilo, Rural South Hilo and Hilo).

But implementation of Act 55 has drawn a wave of concern during recent statewide public hearings on PLDC draft Administrative Rules.

“I am sorely disappointed that there is so much misinformation, but I also understand the concern. Our public lands are a ‘treasure’ that must be protected. Listening to the concerns raised, the governor and the PLDC have agreed to work with the state Senate and House Committees on Water/Land and prepare a Strategic Plan that clarifies the vision, mission, goals and values of the PLDC, putting public benefits as the top priority,” Solomon said.

“Our state is very unique in the nation. The state owns and manages most of the public lands, while in other states, the federal government is the owner and manager. This legislation is patterned after the Federal National Park Mission statement, which is to conserve the scenery, the natural and historic objects and to provide for the public’s enjoyment of these features in a manner that will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations,” said Solomon, who supported the legislation that created the PLDC as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Water, Land and Housing.

“Our committee and others in both the House and Senate spent a great deal of time in public hearings drafting this legislation to be sure environmental, cultural and sunshine laws and regulations were honored and that the end product really would put public interest first,” she said.

“It is my hope and vision that PLDC creates a vehicle to replicate what I call ‘The Yosemite Model’ — which incorporates the National Park Mission Statement, protecting the great beauty and environmental integrity of this national treasure, while providing recreational choices, employment and income generation to support essential health and safety services and caretaking.”

“Some of the concerns raised reflect misunderstandings. PLDC projects shall comply with EIS (HRS 343), Historic Preservation (HRS 6E), Hawaii Sunshine Law (HRS 92), Prohibition on sale of ceded lands (HRS 171-64.7), and Wage Rate Schedule (HRS 104). There’s a laundry list of guidelines that delineates precautions imposed to insure that PLDC-initiated partnerships “improve our communities, create jobs, and expand public benefit.”

“For some, partnerships are a new way of doing business, but in today’s economic climate, partnerships are the only way we can effectively improve public benefit and make things happen without raising taxes or fees,” Solomon said.

Also, PLDC partnerships must have (1) value and significance to the community, (2) help preserve culture, agriculture, conservation and preservation; (3) be self-sustaining, (4) have a positive economic impact, and (5) have long-term value, according to the PLDC Operating Framework – 2012.

The agreement by the governor and PLDC to prepare a PLDC Strategic Plan was announced in a letter Solomon wrote to Kalbert Young, Chair of the Public Land Development Corporation (PLDC), specifically in response to concerns expressed at statewide public hearings regarding the intention of the PLDC’s purpose and mission.

“Concerns raised related to Native Hawaiian land rights seriously got my attention,” said Solomon, who has been at the forefront of protection of Hawaiian lands and rights issues for nearly 30 years, beginning with serving as one of the first elected Trustees Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

“Act 55 creating PLDC says that PLDC will pay OHA any ceded land revenues as required by HRS 10-13.5. Further, to the extent that the PLDC has a role in addressing other Native Hawaiian issues, the legislature and governor have agreed to do everything in our power to ensure that the PLDC works collaboratively with the appropriate agencies.”

For more specifics on the PLDC Operating Framework, Mission, Vision, Values, Key elements, visit:

6 Responses to “Solomon: Concerns on PLDC must be addressed”

  1. Duncan says:

    This is pure horse puckey, but hey my garden needs some compost so thanks to Malama Solomon.

    What she says would make you think that somehow raising money for the DLNR (one of the purposes of the PLDC) will somehow magically appear by virtue of private partnerships. How does that work and taxes not get raised? probably fees paid to the private party in the partnership for use of the facility. A private developer or financier is NOT going to participate in the project unless they can recoup their investment and then some… c’mon how stupid do you think we are Malama? It is as if she really hasn’t read the bill, or is deliberately obfuscating what is wrong. Neither a strategic plan, nor sweet words “clarifying the mission” of the PLDC will fix the problem. Repealing the law that grants such unchecked power to this unaccountable, unelected agency is what is required.

    It adds insult to injury that the PLDC can pay its executives and employees whatever they like, and assign whatever work duties they find appropriate, regardless to civil service regulations. Didn’t we see the same thing with huge bonuses to bank execs at the time of the wall street crash and taxpayer bailouts? hmmmm.

  2. Occupy Honolulu Hale says:

    Malama Solomon, Donovan Dela Cruz and Abercrombie got caught in bed with greedy developers.

    Political Damage Control is kicking in. Talk is cheap. You can’t trust them. Period.

  3. Shannon says:

    The PLDC has the potential to be the second worst thing to ever happen to Hawai’i.

  4. Lopaka says:

    Malama should be ashame of herself. Unless her name “Malama” has more to it the only people she is caring for, saving or protecting is the illegal occupiers, private investors and her own pocket book. She is a prime example of what happens when you stay in politics for toooooo long… end up being a sell out like the rest of them and yet the State of Hawai’i doesn’t even exist, the lands were never ceded and there is NO TREATY OF ANNEXATION so, what do you have to say about this…..MALAMA?

  5. Mo`o says:

    Ms. Solomon has just proven how she is attempting to sell out Hawaiian rights by supporting PLDC. There is no Treaty of Annexation. Address that! The Hawaiians are saying PLDC are culturally insensitive and still Malama continues to insist it is to preserve the culture. No thank you. The communities can control and decide the developments in their own areas. If they do allow any developments, they sure as hell should not have to pay for the infrastructure from our own pockets.

  6. mike says:

    What she fails to mention is that she tried to pass a bill that created a scope to use PLDC as a tool for Geothermal.


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