“We submitted somewhere between 300 and 350 member signatures,” said petitioner Adam Asquith. “People are really motivated about the issues. Initially, there were 10 people who hustled up 20 signatures each. Then when the article came out in the paper, the signatures flooded in. It shows that KIUC members want and need to be involved.”
KIUC’s legal counsel David Proudfoot said the co-op has 30 calendar days to hold the member meeting. There is no required timeline for the vote within KIUC’s bylaws.
“We have to give notice of the meeting by May 25 and hold the meeting by June 9,” Proudfoot said. “The vote is up to the board. There is no time or method set for it, but the law implies that it must occur within a reasonable time, but that’s subjective.”
KIUC spokeswoman Anne Barnes said the co-op has not yet set a date for the meeting, but is anticipating it will be sometime during the first week of June. Before setting a date, she said it must find a venue large enough to accommodate a sizable crowd while keeping the cost down. The football stadium was one consideration.
“We’re going to find someplace,” she said. “We should have something solidified by the end of the week.”
Asquith emphasized that he was appreciative of members’ support and thankful for the professional conduct of KIUC staff members in handling the first petition it has ever received.
“I suspect KIUC will lead the meeting,” he said. “I hope that to some extent they can make it a conversation rather than just a presentation of the information.”
Asquith, a Wailua River taro farmer, has said that he is not against hydroelectric power on Kaua‘i. He is against the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission process utilized by Free Flow to secure six island waterways for hydro development. His concern is that the federal agency’s rules for water flow will supersede more stringent state water code rules that protect environmental and stakeholder interests.
“Prior to the FERC bomb detonating, I had been advocating for hydro,” Asquith said. “But the FERC thing drew me off. Now, we are going to be able to have a discussion about it with community members, who gave the (petition) a nod and pushed it over it the top.”[Publisher's note: We are not the only place targeted by Free Flow Power with the use of FERC permits. "A Massachusetts company hopes to develop hydroelectric projects at nine upper Mississippi River lock and dam sites by 2017, officials said Monday. Free Flow Power Corp., 3-year-old Boston firm, plans to apply for federal licenses for hydropower projects that in this area include Lock and Dam 4 at Alma, Lock and Dam 6 at Trempealeau, Lock and Dam 7 near Dresbach, Minn., and Lock and Dam 9 near Lynxville." From (http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/article_5dd18d24-7ab3-11e0-8060-001cc4c03286.html). We think it interesting that there is no listing of completed or on-going projects on the FFP website.(http://www.free-flow-power.com/Projects.html)] See also: Ea O Ka Aina: FERC - KIUC Related Stories .