Sunshine Memo 12-15
Sufficiency of and Omission from Agenda
Requester asked for an investigation into whether
the Hawaii County Board of Ethics (HCBE) violated the Sunshine Law
by (1) listing public testimony before new business on the September
23, 2009 meeting agenda, (2) failing to name the petitioner and
the County employee who was the subject of the petition on the same
agenda; and (3) failing to include letters sent to the HCBE Chair
on an agenda as correspondence.
OIP found the following:
(1) Public testimony may be taken on all agenda
items at the beginning of a meeting. OIP Op. Ltr. No. 06-01.
(2) The two agenda items, Petition No. 2009-6 and Petition No.
2009-07, were described with sufficient detail to allow the public
to understand what the HCBE intended to consider at the meeting
and to decide whether or not to participate in the meeting.
(3) The Sunshine Law does not address the question of whether
a board is required to consider an issue when requested; it only
provides that issues a board does choose to consider at its meeting
must be properly listed on its agenda. See HRS § 92-7 (Supp.
2011). The HCBE, therefore, did not violate the Sunshine Law by
declining to place on its agenda or consider the matters raised
in Requester’s letter to the Chair.