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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 7, 2002

Big Island's redrawn districts challenged

By Hugh Clark
Advertiser Big Island Bureau

HILO, Hawai'i — A university instructor contesting the recent Big Island reapportionment has asked the Hawai'i Supreme Court to order a new map drawn for County Council districts.

David Holzman, who teaches University of Hawai'iiHilo classes in Kona, said the Hawai'i County Reapportionment Commission unjustly combined North Kohala and South Kohala despite their different interests, and separated communities with similar interests by folding a portion of Puna into Hilo and splitting the Kailua area of Kona.

The court challenge, filed Friday by Honolulu attorney Jack Schweigert, said the state constitution instructs reapportionment panels to avoid mixing or dividing socio-economic interests.

County Clerk Alan Konishi said the challenge may come too late, since candidates for the new districts already have begun taking out nomination petitions for this year's election.

Schweigert said the constitution allows a challenge within 45 days. The Big Island commission submitted its final plan to the county clerk Dec. 18, so the deadline would be tomorrow. The writ filed on behalf of Holzman asks the court to order the panel back into session to redraw the boundaries.

Commission Chairman Lloyd Van De Car said Tuesday that "the members of the commission did the best job they could. Let's let the court decide if (the writ) has merit."