Mayor Billy Kenoi is moving forward with his plan to balance the county budget in part by raiding the 2 Percent for Open Spaces fund. According to a recent e-mail by Councilman Guy Enriques, Kenoi has asked Councilman Dominic Yagong to introduce Bill 49, which would suspend payments into the fund for two years, beginning retroactively on Jan. 1, 2009. The fund, which was approved by referendum, sets aside 2 percent of county revenues to acquire lands for parks and open space before they're snatched up by developers.
Enriques sent out a poll, asking those on his e-mail list if they favored the suspension. Of course, since he rose to prominence in his district (and garnered probably the biggest campaign war chest for a council race in county history) by supporting development at Punalu'u, it's likely that those on his mailing list are a bit skewed toward development and against the open spaces fund. But those who'd like to express their views, but who didn't get the e-mail notice, can go to http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=cGNFa3V5NVkyTGdEYXg2eGNUMGZpY0E6MA and vote. And of course, those outside Enriques's district can always contact their own councilpeople.