SUBCOMMITTEE ON OUTDOOR LIGHTING STANDARDS
(PUBLIC WORKS AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE)
Council of the County of Maui
July 10, 2002
RECESS: 9:19 a.m.
RECONVENE: 9:21 a.m.
- CHAIR MOLINA: (Gavel). Outdoor Lighting Subcommittee
meeting for July 10th is now back in session.
Members, prior to continuing on with the
matrix, we had a request from the Police Department
to offer their comments at this time. The
representative from the Police Department does have
to go. Are there any objections to hearing remarks
from the Police Department at this time from the
- SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS: No objections.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay. If not, okay, Chief Tam Ho, if you'd
like to come up to the front here and offer your
remarks on behalf of the Police Department.
- MR. TAM HO: Good morning.
- SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS: Good morning.
- MR. TAM HO: Just to give you some history on the Maui
Police Department's position. I know a lot has
happened. You've been having numerous meetings. I
came to the first meeting and the second meeting.
We made our position clear and nobody listened and
this thing continued.
So let me give you the history of the Police
involvement. Months and months back three gentlemen
came to the Police Department. I think it was
Mr. Maberry, Steve Sutrov, and another gentlemen,
and they requested to speak to our executive staff,
and at that time they came in and they said they had
this dream, and there was three of them, and they
wanted to change the entire lighting in Maui County,
and they told us that they knew that this would not
happen, there was no hope, and we told them at that
time that we were against it, totally against it,
and we will be speaking up and we're not supporting
this thing because it's bad for the County.
And next thing I knew I was called to come
here because they had a committee going, a
Subcommittee going, and at that first meeting I
stated again our position, and then I attended a
second meeting and I asked Mr. Molina, do you really
need us here, because obviously nobody's listening
and you're proceeding. And at that time he told me,
yes, you're not needed anymore.
So now today I get this notice, and obviously
you've accomplished a lot and you're moving forward,
but I just want you to know that our executive
staff, our entire command staff -- we have 455
employees. We have 335 sworn officers. This is a
bad thing. We're against it. We -- obviously
you're not in agreement with us, and that is okay,
and I, you know, admire your initiative to go
forward and try to accomplish -- and from three
people you've grown. You've got this room almost --
you know, you've got people here listening. So
you're accomplishing things, but this is a bad
thing, and we'll testify wherever we have to to put
this thing down. This is not good for the County.
Any questions for me before I leave?
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay, Mr. Maberry.
- MR. MABERRY: Mr. Chairman, Chief, sir, just for
clarification, your primary concern was from a
safety and security standpoint as far as -- and
primarily against low pressure sodium lamps and not
necessarily against shielding; is that correct?
- MR. TAM HO: No, that's not correct.
- MR. MABERRY: Okay. Please clarify, then.
- MR. TAM HO: You know, the thing is that we met with you.
We met with you for a while.
- MR. MABERRY: Yes, sir.
- MR. TAM HO: We discussed this thing, and we gave you our
clear position on this, so don't try to twist this
thing around with shielding and stuff like that.
The thing is we said it's bad. Now, that's our
position. Now, shielding, you've got to deal with
Public Works or the Highway Division, whoever you
want. If they want to shield, it's fine with us.
That's not our concern. Our thing is the lighting.
We never talked about shielding.
- MR. MABERRY: Again, clarification. So the primary thing
that you're against is low pressure sodium lamps
because of color rendition and this is related to
safety and security; is that correct?
- MR. TAM HO: Okay. The point is this, what you're trying
to do is you're trying to get me to compromise.
- MR. MABERRY: No. No, sir.
- MR. TAM HO: That's what you're asking me. I'm telling
you our position is no. Now, whatever else you do,
that's up to you. Okay. And I made it very clear
on the very first day, and our Chief made it clear
to you and you didn't listen to us, and that's why
we're not happy with you.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay. Members, any other questions for
Chief Tam Ho? Ms. Bernard.
- MS. BERNARD: I appreciate your coming down here to say
these things, and I know it means a lot to you. And
I want you to know that, at least from my
perspective, it's not that we're ignoring you and
that we aren't hearing you. There does need to be a
discussion about where we can go from here. So we
asked to have the Big Island Police Department give
us some information.
In San Diego they have low pressure sodium
lighting, and from what we've heard there is not a
safety issue from -- so far as we know in terms of
the rendition of the color. Now, in terms of
decreasing the lighting on the beaches and places
like that, I can understand your concern, and we're
looking at how do we do this and find a place where
it's still safe and can we do this and just hold our
ground. If you're happy with things the way they
are now, can we at least hold ground rather than
increasing lighting on Maui?
- MR. TAM HO: Okay. The thing is with any issue you're
going to have opposing sides, right? So whatever
information you gather is going to support your
side. So if you go do studies in the mainland and
get their studies and you go to the Big Island -- I
know the chiefs on the Big Island. I talked to them
about this thing. They hate those lightings, but
you're going to go and gather information that's
going to pad your side to support your position, but
the Maui Police Department, we're taking a stand.
We took it from day one, and we're not wavering
here. We're not compromising. We're not wavering.
I just left my Chief and he said, you go up there
and you tell these people like it is. And that's
what I'm doing today.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay. Mr. Chong, followed by Mr. McCord.
- MR. CHONG: Hi. If you've been at these meetings you know
that I'm probably the only guy here that's against
low pressure sodium.
- COUNCILMEMBER TAVARES: Not necessarily.
- MR. CHONG: Okay. Thank you. Just some food for thought.
In our information that we got, San Diego County is
now changing back to high pressure sodium. Okay.
They are creating a zone around Mount Palomar --
which is what drove the low pressure sodium issue --
as a low pressure sodium zone, but it is now -- they
are now pushing to switch back to high pressure
sodium. And just for clarification, I mean, I
understand the Police's concern, and also, on the
other side, even though I don't like low pressure
sodium, I do believe that cutoffs and things like
that, design correctly and things like that have a
place here on Maui and all this -- and throughout
the State, and I think it would not compromise your
job if it's high pressure sodium or metal halide. I
do think it will compromise your job if it's low
- CHAIR MOLINA: Thank you, Mr. Chong. Mr. McCord.
- MR. McCORD: I think it's time to revisit the Police
Department. I think that we have a little
miscommunication here, because I'm on this panel to
try and do some light depredation reversal as well
as maintain a balance between those people that need
light for sports facilities and that sort of thing
and beach protection and some of the other concerns
of Haleakala, turtles, et cetera.
I think we need to come back and tell you
where this has progressed to. It is not just low
pressure sodium anymore. We are now looking at a
whole spectrum of lights, and surely the Police
Department can't be concerned about the fact that we
want to make lighting on play fields, for example,
be more in compliance with modern standards. All
you have to do is go to King K and take a look at
what it's done to the neighborhood and you can see
that there is a program that needs to be implemented
to change those light invasions of the private
residences and that sort of thing.
And that's part of what we're doing. We're
not just doing low pressure sodium, so I think we
need to come back and talk to you and tell you where
this whole thing is going and then have you object
to those parts where you're concerned, rather than
the whole ordinance.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Chief, any comments?
- MR. TAM HO: Okay. You just mentioned that you're doing
other lightings. Okay. Is -- in that packet that
you're reading, that ordinance, is there anything
about low pressure sodium?
- MR. McCORD: Yes.
- MR. TAM HO: So you're pushing for low pressure sodium.
- MR. McCORD: No, no, no. You misunderstand. The
Committee is looking at a whole lot of alternatives.
Low pressure sodium is one out of, say, five issues.
- MR. TAM HO: Okay. So if you take low pressure sodium
out, then we'll look at your package.
- MR. McCORD: Well, I thought --
- MR. TAM HO: Take it -- that's our position, take it out.
- MR. McCORD: Yeah. Because you initially said, you know,
you object to the whole thing. I think you need to
know that it's become a lot broader than just low
- MR. TAM HO: Oh, I realize that, but I know the main
initial push is low pressure sodium. So take it
out, we'll look at your packet. I'll take one with
- MR. McCORD: Well, we don't -- we don't have that position
totally solidified yet, but I think we need to talk
about this, because there must be a need in some
areas to reduce, you know, ambient light that's
going to affect the Haleakala National Observatory
business up there and the turtles, but it doesn't
mean that we have to put low pressure sodium all
over the island. So I think we need --
- MR. TAM HO: So you're in agreement that you're going to
take low pressure sodium out of this ordinance?
- MR. McCORD: No. I think we can use it. It just doesn't
mean that we're going to use it totally.
- MR. TAM HO: See, the thing is you want me to compromise,
- MR. McCORD: No.
- MR. TAM HO: -- you're telling me --
- MR. McCORD: We want you to become informed as to where
- MR. TAM HO: No, I'm informed. I know exactly what you're
doing. I know from the very day what you're trying
to do. I mean, it's not that I'm not aware of what
you're doing. I'm fully aware of what you're doing.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay.
- MR. McCORD: You know more than I do then, because I don't
know where it's going to end up.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay, Mr. McCord, thank you. I think we've
discussed this matter enough, this particular
session of questioning here.
And, again, I want to inform everybody the
Chair's intent is not to convert this whole island
into low pressure sodium. We're just taking a look
at all avenues of this issue of outdoor lighting.
Nothing is finalized yet, and the input from the
Police as well as every other entity or industry is
valued by this Committee.
And, again, whatever this Committee comes up
with is not final because then it has to go to the
Public Works and Transportation Committee. And so
it's -- it will be somewhat of a long process, but,
again, I think it's at least healthy for the
community to hear all of the concerns, whether for
or against, to look at alternatives and what we need
to do if there is a real serious problem.
But one of the priorities, I know for myself,
and I'm just guessing for some of the Committee
members, is its impact on public safety. I think
for myself, as a legislator, and for Ms. Tavares,
the safety of the public comes first. So for me,
that's my angle. And if Councilmember Tavares would
like to comment from her perspective, you know, you
can give that perspective as well.
I'm sorry, Ms. Bernard, you had a question
for the Chief.
- MS. BERNARD: I just wanted to clarify the position, I
think, of this Subcommittee has not been one of us
having a particular perspective that we want to
drive forward without any sense of compromise, and
I'm dismayed and I'm sorry to hear that you think
that there is no spirit of compromise and that we're
asking you to --
- MR. McCORD: Me too.
- MS. BERNARD: -- come up with all the compromise, because
that certainly hasn't been what we've -- what we've
been doing here. And quite the contrary, what we're
talking about is how do we reduce intensity in
certain places and how do we hold ground so that we
don't end up with a place that is so overlit that
our turtles no longer nest here and you can no
longer see the night sky.
We're not talking about turning this island
into a place that's so dark that you're completely
out manned and you're unable to do your jobs. That
certainly isn't our intention. Our intention is to
make Maui and keep Maui a good place to live and
visit, that balances the needs of the community with
the wildlife that also live here.
So please, you know, if you take anything
away from this day, understand that I think I speak
for all of us here, we have been compromising and
looking for ways to compromise, and we're getting a
little hung up on the language, but we're getting
closer and closer. So we're hearing the low
pressure sodium is not popular. Already I'm saying,
okay, I can live without low pressure sodium on the
beaches if that's really where we have to go.
There's other alternatives. That's just the best
one for the turtles. That's all.
- MR. TAM HO: Yeah, the thing is if you can, you know,
understand our frustrations. From day one -- I gave
you the history. These three gentlemen came to us
from day one and we told them our position, and we
came to the hearing again and we said it again, but
it seems like nobody listens to us, and that's part
of our expertise, public safety. Nobody's
listening, and this thing continues going forward
and there's still low pressure sodium in that
ordinance that you're going to review today, and
that's why it's very frustrating to the Police. You
know, we want to cooperate. You know, if you're
doing something good, we're going to back you up,
but from day one we told you no, and nobody listens
- MS. BERNARD: We're listening. We are.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay. Thank you very much, Chief, for your
comments. Mr. Maberry.
- MR. MABERRY: Real quick. Just to let you know, I have
learned an awful lot while sitting on this Committee
since the day I met with you, and my mind is
changing on a lot of issues too, so I would
appreciate that you understand that.
- MR. TAM HO: That's good.
- MR. MABERRY: Thank you.
- CHAIR MOLINA: Okay. Thank you very much, Chief.
- MR. TAM HO: Thank you.