Mason Chock's Progress Report
My Council Work 2019-2020
Items Introduced and passed
Items Not Supported
Lessons This Past Term
Next Term Focus
My Council Work (2019-2020)
I appreciate the opportunity to share a synopsis of what I’ve been working on this term as your county council representative. In addition to my role at council as the Planning Committee Chairman, In 2019, I have been serving as the Kauai representative of the Western Association of Counties which is focused on how we can bring local issues to the national floor. Such focus has involved me in hazard mitigation efforts as it relates to our flood, fire and sea level rise so that we can better manage our watersheds, plan for our roads, housing and infrastructure. I have been actively engaging with organizations such as the Army Corp of Engineers and other Federal entities to ensure Kauai is not forgotten. I have also been active in introducing housing initiatives such as the additional rental unit incentive package and guest house conversions and have even begun planning workforce housing for educators. Below you will find more details on the bills I introduced and passed, resolutions that I introduced and passed, measures that I supported and items that I am working on. As you know, In addition to legislating, our job as council members extend into budget oversight. I have been active in not only solidifying a balanced budget, but also securing a stable future for our county without raising property taxes on our local residents. Through my work with the Hawaii Association of Counties, I have addressed abuses in overtime, helped to establish a community led Kauai shuttle system, initiated internal performance audits, and increased efficiencies in our abandoned and derelict vehicle program.
Items Supported and Active in Establishing
- Ord PM-2019-411 (Bill 2733) ZONING AMENDMENT, BAIRD FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, TMK: 4-4-013:002 KAPAHI, FROM OPEN "O" TO AGRICULTURE "A" DISTRICT. Note: This was a bill requested by the Planning dept. to assist a farmer to support his operation.
- Ord PM-2019-412 (Bill 2752) ZONING AMENDMENT, ISLAND SCHOOL, TMK: 3-8-018:005, LIHUE, FROM OPEN DISTRICT (O) AND AGRICULTURE DISTRICT (A), TO UNIVERSITY DISTRICT (UNV). Note: This bill was to support Island Schools master plan expansion and KCC future expansion opportunities.
- Ord 1048 (Bill 2747 D1) PUBLIC ACCESS, OPEN SPACE, NATURAL RESOURCES PRESERVATION FUND, INCLUSION OF LANDS OR ENTITLEMENTS TO LANDS ACQUIRED BY THE FUND AND IMPROVING EXISTING PUBLIC BEACH ACCESSES, PURSUANT TO CHARTER AMENDMENT TO SECTION 19.15C. Note: This bill was to Follow through on the charter change that enabled the Planning Department to use Open Space funds to maintain accesses.
- Ord 1051(Bill 2749 D1 COMPREHENSIVE ZONING ORDINANCE (CZO), SETBACK STANDARDS, REMOVING INCONSISTENCIES IN THE INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF SETBACK REQUIREMENTS AND ALLOWS MORE FLEXIBILITY WHEN SITING A BUILDING ON A RESIDENTIAL LOT.
- Ord 1053 (Bill 2751) REAL PROPERTY TAX, LONG TERM AFFORDABLE RENTALS, REMOVAL OF REQUIREMENT OF AN ANNUAL AFFIDAVIT. Note: This bill made the long term affordable tax exemption more consistent and easier for participants and the tax office. Co-introduced with CM Evslin
- Ord 1055 (Bill 2735/2754) COMPREHENSIVE ZONING ORDINANCE (CZO), ALLOWANCE OF A KITCHEN IN A GUEST HOUSE. Note: This bill is made it legal to build a kitchen in guest houses in order to support long term rentals.
- Ord (Bill 2756) ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 5A-1.1, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO REAL PROPERTY TAX (Bill 2756) DEFINITIONS. Note: This bill provides land awards the homestead tax exemption when clouded title cannot identify the home occupant as the true owner. Co-introduced with CM Evslin
- Order (Bill 2757). A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ZONING MAPS AND DESIGNATIONS IN THE SOUTH KAUAI COMMUNITY PLAN. Note: This bill was to correct maps that were inadvertently changed during the south Kauai plan by restoring property owner’s rights.
- The Additional Rental Unit Incentive Package (Bills 2740-2745) Co-introduced with Council member Evslin
- Ord (Bill 2740). A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 8, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO ADDITIONAL RENTAL UNITS
- Ord (Bill 2741). A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 11A KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT ON LAND DEVELOPMENT
- Ord (Bill 2742A) BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 6, ARTICLE 9, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FUND
- Ord (Bill 2743) A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 25, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO WASTEWATER TREATMENT CAPACITY ASSESSMENT
- Ord (Bill 2744) A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 12, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO BUILDING PERMIT FEES
- Ord (Bill No. 2745) A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND CHAPTER 10, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO THE LIHUE TOWN CORE URBAN DESIGN DISTRICT
RESOLUTIONS THAT I INTRODUCED WHICH PASSED
- RES 2019-29. HOUSING, RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE FILING OF THE 2019 ACTION PLAN, FOR THE COUNTY'S 5-YEAR CONSOLIDATED PLAN, TO THE US DEPT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD), AND THE APPROPRIATION OF FUNDING ($708,964) OF THE 2019 COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT (CDBG) ALLOCATION FOR VARIOUS PROJECTS
- RES 2019-30 HOUSING, RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE FILING OF THE 2019 ACTION PLAN FOR THE COUNTY'S 5-YEAR CONSOLIDATED PLAN TO THE DEPT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT (HUD) FOR A GRANT UNTIL TITLE II OF THE CRANSTON-GONZALEZ NATIONAL AFFORDABLE HOUSING ACT (PUBLIC LAW 101-625), AS AMENDED, AND THE APPROPRIATION OF FUNDING ($2,580,000) OF 2019 HOME FUNDS TO PUA LOKE AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECT ($2,430,000) AND ADMINISTRATION OF THE KAUAI COUNTY HOUSING AGENCY ($150,000)
BILLS AND RESOLUTIONS THAT I WAS ACTIVE IN AND SUPPORTED
- Ord (Bill No. 2746) A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 8 AND CHAPTER 10 OF THE KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO ENFORCEMENT, LEGAL PROCEDURES, AND PENALTIES
- Ord (Bill 2750) A BILL FOR AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 5A-5.1, KAUA‘I COUNTY CODE 1987, AS AMENDED, RELATING TO REAL PROPERTY TAX LIENS AND FORECLOSURES
- Resolution No. 2019-40 RESOLUTION SUPPORTING EFFORTS TOWARDS PRESERVING THE AFFORDABILITY RESTRICTIONS AT COURTYARDS AT WAIPOULI
- Resolution No. 2019-41 – RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A CROSSWALK ON WEKE ROAD; ESTABLISHING ONE-WAY TRAFFIC AROUND A TRAFFIC ISLAND ON WEKE ROAD; AND ESTABLISHING STOP CONTROL AT WEKE ROAD, AND WILIKOKI PLACE HANALEI DISTRICT, COUNTY OF KAUA‘I
- Resolution No. 2019-44 – RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING TWO CROSSWALKS AND REPEALING AN EXISTING CROSSWALK ON KEKAHA ROAD IN THE VICINITY OF KEKAHA ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WAIMEA DISTRICT, COUNTY OF KAUA‘I
- Resolution No. 2019-48 – RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A NEW MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT OF TWENTY MILES PER HOUR AND PLACEMENT OF SPEED HUMPS ALONG KAUMAKANI ROAD, WAIMEA DISTRICT, COUNTY OF KAUA‘I
THESE ARE BILLS OR ISSUES I AM ALSO CURRENTLY WORKING ON BUT HAVE NOT BEEN THROUGH PUBLIC PROCESS.
- Business Improvement District Enabling Bill to improve our economic base, increase safety and improve traffic by establishing a shuttle along the Kapaa corridor.
- Construction and Demolition ban on landfill to divert, recycle, reduce and reuse.
- Mixed use, form-based code classification.
- Open space preservation.
- Agriculture designations and housing needs.
- Increasing capacity through technology and community engagement platforms for accountability and transparency.
- Auditor search.
- Paid visitor parking at County parks.
Items Not Supported
- Raising salaries for appointed Department Heads, Deputies, or Councilmembers.
- Raising property taxes for the Homestead, Residential, Agriculture, Hotel, Transient Vacation rental or Commercial tax classes.
Lessons This Past Term
After six years on the council, term 2019-2020 has been my most productive term for me. While the following are principles I already whole heartedly adhere to, I am much clearer on defining the roadblocks in bureaucracy we are challenged by in government:
- Small incremental change is best. These types of changes are longer lasting without the whiplash to drastic change. Change nonetheless needs to occur with government support.
- Relationships are so important even when conflict amongst leaders is difficult. We must enlist mature leaders to stay connected to what people are expressing amidst confusion, frustration, and anger.
- Inclusive decision-making allows trust to thrive and provides safety for open and productive sharing.
- Listening and providing an avenue for community voices is so important to keep people engaged.
- We must be accountable and responsible for preserving the reserve limits necessary for organizational health.
- Increasing our recycling program is a must. I made a concerted effort to ban polystyrene this term, but I did not have support from the Administration and Council to move forward with meaningful legislation.
- Creating and holding a space in our Council process to allow productive and passionate conflict with aloha to fully explore opportunities and problem solve with all Councilmembers and the community.
- Accountability involves a clear pathway and process for all involved.
- Civic education and engagement is sorely needed to close the gap between community and government perspective.
- We need leaders who listen and are willing to make adjustments in order to find “win-win” solutions.
Next Term Focus
- Continue to update CZO to better serve local housing needs.
- Establish better community access to trails, shoreline and watershed.
- Preserve budget reserves.
- Complete, repair and maintain county roads, including Koloa Road, Maluhia Road., Mailihuna Road roundabout, Olohena Road, Kamalu Road, and all other roads identified in the roads maintenance backlog.
- Secure new landfill and Materials Recovery Facility.
- Support the County Transportation Agency and Kaua‘i Bus capacity building within the scope of the Short-Range Transit Plan, whether it be staffing needs or increasing routes, including holiday and increased weekend service.
- Continue to build capacity and continuity in our government by modeling leadership behaviors within the Council process and work with County agencies to build a strong foundation working together with a new Administration.
- Continue to improve community engagement by establishing a platform for more efficient organization and communication through information technology collaboration.
- Amend the Affordable Housing Ordinance
- Work with Office of Hawaiian Affairs to help kuleana land occupants validate property rights.
- Establish a Tax Incremental Financing Program.
- Capitalize on opportunities the 2018 floods have created to plan and rebuild safely and more sustainably. Within this interest I will place emphasis on the following:
- Address the health of our watersheds, rivers, streams, and irrigation ditches through a multi-agency permitting approach to access and maintenance.
- Limit rebuild and growth by vacation rentals in flood zones and shorelines, as well as large mansions on ridges.
- Limit access to the Wainiha and Haena area with an established shuttle service.
- Revisit and strengthen response plan for community/Emergency Operations Center (EOC) coordination.
- Revisit and revise our Tourism Master Plan.
- Revisit zoning and public access issues in the rebuilding in flood affected areas.