The wide-spread abuse of process that is allowing Greg Brown to build his monster hotel in Napili Bay provides us all an education into the loopholes in our existing legislation that promote fraud and abuse in the administration of SMA permits, as well as a deeper dive into the general dysfunction and ignorance among our Council Members who seem to not at all understand what the Council’s authorities and responsibilities really are.
Committee Chair Molina, and others, appear completely ignorant of the Council’s investigative powers to assess whether a Director’s actions are consistent with existing ordinances. At my insistence, David Raatz, the chief legal advisor to the Council spelled it out for Mr. Molina in a zoom call a few weeks ago, that the Council does have the authority and responsibility to launch an investigation into any department or issue that comes before them, if for no other reason than to effectively assess whether existing ordinances are achieving their desired results, and what legislative changes may need to be made.
Such an investigation, which is not a TIG (Temporary Investigative Group) as mistakenly identified by Chair Molina, but rather a formal investigation with subpoena powers to conduct questioning under oath, can also determine whether a Director has actually violated the Charter and perhaps other laws with punishments for the first and referrals to Prosecutors for the latter. That level of accountability has never, ever been asserted here in Maui County as, amazingly, the Council, in its entire history, has never, ever, launched such an investigation.
The favoritism that Planning Director Michelle McLean is showing Greg Brown’s project is rapidly evolving to trigger the same kind of citizen-driven lawsuits that the County’s lawyers always lose, at great cost to the taxpayers, just like at Montana Beach, Palama Drive, and Kahoma Villages.
The Hawaii State Supreme Court recently ruled that at Kahoma Villages the public’s rights were indeed violated but it happened so long after the completion of the project as to be a moot point – damage done and too far gone to reconcile. Greg Brown’s project is violating our rights in much the same way but it is going on now in realtime and the opportunity to right the wrong is still alive if action is taken now!
Josh Downer in his testimony explains to Council Member Palin, that the legislative changes she promoted for the Napili Bay District actually weaken the community’s position against Greg Brown rather than strengthen it. Whether knowingly or not, Ms. Paltin served Greg Brown’s interests, not the public’s.
Josh Downer is the founder of the new Napili Bay Community Association www.Napili.org that has formed to use the courts to stop Greg Brown’s abuse and possibly hold the County and the Council responsible for not stopping it while they have the chance. The NBCA has over 130 Napili Bay resident members in just a few weeks of its existence. All are welcome to join and support the cause.
A first-of-its-kind County Council investigation into Planning Director Michelle McLean’s consistent misrepresentations and violations of due process, bestowing enormous favoritism onto Greg Brown, would be a total game-changer for Maui County and a historic win for our community.
Watch these three short videos for a fairly full education into Greg Brown’s abuse that Chris Salem 1st blew the whistle on almost a year ago.