Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Sen Thielen: School Land Exemptions Remove Fairness, Transparency of Development Deals
By News Release @ 11:37 PM :: 3780 Views :: Education K-12, Development

Explaining my “No” vote on Redevelopment of Public School Lands

News Release from Senator Laura Thielen April 30, 2013

Senate just passed SB 237 Redevelopment of Public School Lands.

I voted “No.”  Here is my explanation:

I’ve made clear from the start of session that I do not support granting developments broad exemptions from our laws.  I opposed the Public Lands Development Corporation because it contained two broad exemptions.  The first: a broad exemption from all land use and zoning laws.  The second: a broad exemption from the laws requiring long-term leases of public lands to be negotiated and awarded in an open, transparent and fair manner.

Happily, SB 237 does not contain any exemptions from state or county land use or zoning laws.  I thank the Chair of the Senate Education Committee for ensuring that any redevelopment of school lands will comply with these laws.

However, SB 237 still contains the exemptions that I have repeatedly pointed out which leave the negotiation of these public lands ungoverned by specific laws or administrative rules to ensure fairness and transparency in the disposition of public lands.

Specifically, the language in the Bill that exempts these long term leases from HRS 171-13, and 302A-1151.  Those sections of the law combined require the Department of Education to follow HRS Chapter 171 when entering into any long term leases for the development of public school lands.

Chapter 171 was adopted to ensure that the disposition of state trust lands are made in the best interest of the general public – and not to the benefit of private interests or the interests of a few.  HRS Chapter 171 strictly governs the process for putting public lands out to bid for long term leases.  Specific steps include public auction, means of public bidding and length of public notice.

Despite repeatedly recommending that this bill include some process or guidelines for the disposition of these public lands to govern the DOE, it appears this Bill has left the process completely unregulated.  Accordingly, the department is free to negotiate the long term leases of these public lands in private.

One of my colleagues pointed out that, at least for the school lands owned by the County, there would need to be some Memorandum of Agreement approved by the County Council before they could be developed.  Such agreements must be made through the Council public process.  That is true.  But it overlooks two important points.

First, that Council public process would not apply to the redevelopment of school lands owned by the state.  That list of state-owned lands, by the way, includes Jefferson Elementary School in Waikiki.

Second, the MOA may simply address the agreement between the city and state regarding the development of the land.  It may not address or preclude private negotiations with a private developer.

Another colleague stated that the department will still be governed by the Procurement Code, which requires public bidding.  That’s great, except for the fact that the Procurement Code does not apply to leasing of land.  HRS 103D-104 specifically excludes land, permanent interests in land and leases of real property.  So the Procurement Code will not preclude the department engaging in private negotiations for the leasing of public lands.

My hope is that we will return next year and establish some minimum parameters for these negotiations and dispositions of land to ensure the public trust and public process is honored in these dispositions.  These lands are far too valuable, and the public trust is far too important, to leave these discussions unregulated.

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Hawaiian

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT