Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Tuesday, July 5, 2016
OHA Trustees Banned from Talking to OHA Employees
By Selected News Articles @ 7:58 PM :: 4342 Views :: OHA

Help OHA Reach its full potential: Look for Change

by Trustee Rowena Akana, Ka Wai Ola, July, 2016

‘Ano’ai kakou….

As the longest serving Trustee, it saddens me that OHA is no longest the proactive advocate for our beneficiaries that it once was.  When I was first elected to the Board in 1990, OHA was at the forefront of many issues involving native rights, housing, education, and health.

Past Trustees were actively involved, spearheading major projects, and holding OHA’s administration accountable.  Now everything seems, for want of a better term, ‘stagnant.’  While I’m sure the Board Char can produce a long list of ‘great’ things happening at OHA, to me its all just public relations fluff.  Make no mistake—This is not the OHA of old that used to get results.  I’m sure that every Trustee would agree that OHA can do more for our beneficiaries.  Much more.

So what’s the solution?  Its simple: Restore the Board’s oversight over the Administration.  Right now, there are only THREE Trustees that are holding the Administration accountable.

1) The Asset & Resource Management Committee Chair, who oversees all of OHA’s fiscal, policy, economic development, land and administrative matters;

2) The Beneficiary Advocacy & Empowerment Committee Chair, who has responsibility over federal and state legislation, on-going programs in health, housing, and education; and

3) Last, but not least, the Board Chair, who basically just acts as the liaison between the Administration and the Board instead of providing oversight and direction.  In fact, the CEO has BANNED Trustees without committees from having direct contact with Administrative staff.  All requests for information must go through the Chair’s office. 

So basically, the rest of the Trustees have to depend on the three Trustees above for updates and reports at the board table--There are no other opportunities for us to get information.

We could easily increase the amount of Trustees providing oversight over the Administration by going back to the five committee system.  Subject matters included 1) Land, 2) Policy & Planning, 3) Program Management, 4) Legislative & Government Affairs, and 5) Budget & Finance.  Bringing back these five committees would instantly double the amount of Trustees overseeing the Administration from three to six. 

The increased oversight over the Administration would would finally put an end to the frequent complaints by Trustees that they are not being kept in the loop or getting regular updates on important issues.

As many of my long-time readers know, this is not a new proposal.  I pushed for this change last year but the current Board Chair decided to go in the opposite direction.  He actually got rid of the Land and Property Committee!

OHA is simply too big for three Trustees to control the organization.  And as a result, crucial information is able to stay hidden.  For example, under the old five committee structure, the Budget & Finance committee chair actually had the time to take our budget out to the community for comments and suggestions.  Every line item of the budget was presented and none were hidden in ‘cost centers.’  Nothing could stay hidden in the budget with that much scrutiny.

So this election, seek change and elect new blood!  Ask OHA candidates what they think about how OHA is run.  Question them on their ideas to improve the office and the services we provide.  Vote wisely or we’ll continue to be stuck in the same stagnation for years to come.  Our beneficiaries deserve better!

Aloha Ke Akua.  

---30---

July, 2016: OHA Trustee Election Guide 

Dec, 2014: Rowena Akana: Now That I'm in Charge, Everything is Fine at OHA

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

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 ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii