Today in West Hawaii history | June 15

June 15, 1984: The Hawaii County Taxpayers Association’s effort to reduce the real property tax rate on the Big Island suffered a major setback yesterday when corporation counsel Stephen Menezes said the proposal is unconstitutional, and he believes, would be found illegal if taken to court. Menezes’ opinion ends weeks of uncertainty about 6the initiative petition that seeks to reduce the property tax rate from $8.60 to $4 per $1,000 assessed valuation.

“We’re going to court,” was the response of Hawaii County Taxpayers Association board members to yesterday’s unofficial news of rejection of their tax reduction petition by Corporation Counsel Stephen Menezes. HCTA board member Norm Lewis last night called the rejection of the petition “subterfuge,” adding the unconstitutionality arguments are “weak.”

June 15, 1994: University of Hawaii -West Hawaii lecturers and students want to be separated from the Hilo campus and want student representation. More than a dozen lecturers and students met yesterday with Board of Regents member David Ramos, state Sen. Andy Levin and Rep. Virginia Isbell to discuss their concerns for the institution.

A Hawaii County Councilman has called for infrastructure legislation that would require large developers to finance, at the time of construction, public improvements related to their projects. North Kona Councilman Jim Rath has requested a bill specifying which roads, schools and other infrastructure must occur to sustain new development. The bill, which would be imposed simultaneous to rezoning request, is urgently needed so future projects do not add to West Hawaii’s estimated $500,000 infrastructure deficiency.

June 15, 2004: A Third Circuit Court judge ruled Monday that there was probable cause to charge 44-year-0ld Roy Ledward with driving under the influence of an intoxicant, two counts of negligent injury and numerous drug-related offenses from separate incidents. Judge Joseph Florendo remanded all of the cases to Third Circuit Court, where Ledward’s arraignment and plea hearing is scheduled for June 28.

Administrators are still trying to concise Hawaii County Council members to restore operations money for an East Hawaii Regional Sort Station. Environmental Management Director Barbara Bell and Recycling Coordinator Eileen O’Hara-Weir presented a solid waste update to council members Monday, attempting to articulate how integral the sort station is in addressing not only the closure of the Hilo landfill, but the sold waste issue as a whole. The presentation came two weeks after the council passed the 2004-05 budget having set aside $500,000 originally earmarked for equipment and nine3 positions for the sort station.