HONOLULU — The University of Hawaii has requested that its representative on the board for the proposed New Aloha Stadium be a voting member.
Currently, there are nine voting members on the board, which is appointed by the governor, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday.
There are two other seats allocated for the University of Hawaii president and the superintendent of the state Department of Education, or their representatives. Both are currently non-voting positions. The state Department of Education has not publicly lobbied for a voting position.
Two measures working their way through the Legislature would add two new voting representatives to the Stadium Authority: one resident of the Aiea area and one resident of the Foster Village-Salt Lake area, the newspaper reported.
Kalbert Young, University of Hawaii chief financial officer and vice president for budget and finance, said that since the bill would add two new community representatives, the university’s representative should have the right to vote.
“My suggestion is that since (the university) is the primary (or) one of the primary users and purposes for the development of the stadium, (and) given the discussions that go on at the Stadium Authority for operations as well as for the major public works project, it is appropriate that the representative of (the university) is actually a voting member in the decision-making process,” Young said.
Democratic state Rep. Aaron Ling Johanson said he understood why the university would have that stance, but argued that the Stadium Authority is responsible for the full 98-acre complex, not only the stadium itself.
“It is not just about the stadium,” Johanson said. “So, it begs the question of: Should UH be also dictating, as a voting member, what happens to all the other acreage that isn’t the stadium?”