Tuesday, January 16, 2001
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Posted on: Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Neighborhood board deadline today

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser City Hall Writer

People who are interested in running for Oahu’s neighborhood boards must file their applications by today. As of last week, only 300 candidates had filed for 454 neighborhood board seats, according to Ben Kama, executive secretary of the city’s Neighborhood Commission.

The citizen boards get people involved in government policy at the community level and make recommendations to local government agencies.

Elections are held every two years by mail-in ballot. Members serve for free and there are no filing fees. Candidates must be at least 18 years old by today and live in the neighborhood for which they are running.

Candidate forms are available at satellite city halls, public libraries and at the Neighborhood Commission Office at Honolulu Hale, Room 400. Mailed forms must be postmarked by today and reach the office by Jan. 26. Or deliver forms in person to the commission office by 4:30 p.m. today.

Kama said it worries him that some communities have a much lower turnout than usual, notably Kaneohe and Kalihi Valley. "There has been only one application in each one of those areas, with 17 seats on the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board and 13 seats on the Kalihi Valley Neighborhood Board."

Ballots will be distributed in mid-March and the results announced on May 1.

The boards have served as a launching pad for community activists and political leaders. Kama said they help guide elected officials in making key decisions on projects and municipal planning.

"An individual can make a difference in his or her community, and by the advice they collectively give, make a difference on our whole island," Kama said.

For more information, call the election hotline at 527-5579 or visit the city Web site at www.co.honolulu.hi.us.

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