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Tuesday, December 6, 2011
LoPresti: Ewa Neighborhood Board 'Most Dysfunctional in USA'
By Selected News Articles @ 1:33 PM :: 8417 Views :: Honolulu County, Politicians

December 5, 2011

RE Resignation from Ewa Neighborhood Board

Dear Director Heinrich:

Please accept this letter of resignation. Effective immediately, I resign my office as a duly elected member of the Ewa Neighborhood Board.

I want to extend my sincerest of apologies to the hundreds of people who voted for me. Unfortunately, I find it nearly impossible to represent them well or represent my community at all according to the Neighborhood Plan because this has to be one of the most dysfunctional governmental boards in the entire country.

The board lacks any significant degree of discipline or decorum and there is little attempt to follow Roberts Rules of Order except when it is convenient to control the speech of any who may hold dissenting views. Most upsetting of all is the fact that the board – as a direct result of the above – effectively refuses to tolerate dissenting views and actively attempts to silence any openly critical thinking or questioning of elected or appointed officials in higher office.

Since taking office this summer, I have repeatedly reached out to the Director of the Neighborhood Commission to intervene and bring order to this unruly board. To date, little to no official action has been taken. As Treasurer of the board, I have also repeatedly reached out to the Director and his office to inquire about our funds (if there be any) in order to purchase banners that would hopefully raise awareness about the board and its activities within the community. To date I have directly received zero information or support in this capacity from the Neighborhood Board Commission. Therefore, I also lack confidence in the Neighborhood Board Commission and in the Director to rectify any of the basic issues that need addressing in bringing order to the Ewa Neighborhood Board.

Despite the things I have been able to accomplish the toxic nature the board’s current culture, the lack of due process, and the relative absence of the Commission means that any further sincere efforts on my part to right these problems face increasingly diminished returns. I took the oath of office with the intent to represent the people of my community with an emphasis on following the rules of the democratic process and holding government accountable on behalf of my constituents. Sadly, without the former the latter is no longer possible.

I will continue to serve my community on other boards and as an independent and critical voice, but in my opinion, our community is ill served by the Ewa Neighborhood Board. Indeed, in some instances I believe our community is actually being harmed by its lack of process and decorum. I refuse to be a part of something that I believe is harming our community and without any respect for process neither the board nor its members can function as an effective or constructive voice for our citizens.

Matthew LoPresti, Ph.D.

Former Treasurer, Ewa Neighborhood Board

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