by Andrew Walden, Honolulu, December 8, 2016
After this morning’s swearing-in of newly elected Trustee Kelii Akina at OHA HQ, Trustees got right down to business.
Contentious debate, a series of procedural motions, and a dire prediction of “severe consequences” from OHA CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe gave way to a 5-4 secret ballot vote ousting incumbent Chairman Robert Lindsey and replacing him with longtime dissident Trustee Rowena Akana. After the vote for Chair, Trustees Ahuna, Apo, and Machado walked out of the meeting.
The remaining Trustees then elected Lei Ahu Isa Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees and Hulu Lindsey as Chair of the Resource Management Committee.
Trustees voting with the majority:
- Rowena Akana
- Kelii Akina
- Lei Ahu Isa
- Hulu Lindsey
- John Waihee IV
Trustees in the minority:
- Dan Ahuna
- Peter Apo
- Robert Lindsey
- Colette Machado
Venting by Trustees during the debate sheds light on the personality conflicts fracturing the Board.
Trustee Peter Apo read a prepared statement outlining his opposition to Rowena Akana:
“Chair Lindsey does not lie. Chair Lindsey does not play clandestine political games. Chair Lindsey does not engage in rancor. Chair Lindsey does not demean the institution and those who work for it as a political strategy to make it appear that he is going to save OHA from the rest of us. Chair Lindsey does not cross the lines of ethical behavior. Chair Lindsey does not spread falsehoods about colleagues behind closed doors.”
Trustee Lei Ahu Isa, in support of reorganization, had a few barbs of her own:
"...they kind of dismissed me as if I were nothing. So that’s why I’m trying to give our organization a chance.”
Before adjourning, newly elected Chair Akana said “I look forward to working with as many Trustees as possible.” Akana said, other committees would be announced at a Board of Trustees meeting next week and “hopefully some of our colleagues will decide to join us.”
OHA Trustees will stage a formal “investiture” ceremony 10AM Friday December 9 at Central Union Church in Honolulu.
SA: Raucous OHA board meeting ends with new chairwoman
News Release: OHA Trustees select new Chairwoman and leadership