PLDC Plows Ahead, Slowly

Sophie Cocke/ Civil Beat

It was the calm after the storm.

The board of the Public Land Development Corporation met for the first time Thursday since a series of heated public meetings throughout the islands brought out nearly 700 protestors. The overriding message: Abolish the PLDC.

Gone were the couple hundred critics that spilled out of the small boardroom in the Kalanimoku building in downtown Honolulu last month, toting anti-PLDC signs and making passionate speeches about how the PLDC needed to be stopped.

Instead, a handful of board members and the PLDC’s three employees convened to review minutes of prior meetings, discuss a proposed strategic plan and get briefed on the public meetings that were held to hear comments on draft rules. About 30 people from the public were in attendance. The air was subdued.

The Strategic Plan

Topping the agenda of PLDC staff and the agency's supporters is turning around public opinion.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie and the law’s sponsors, Sen. Malama Solomon and Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz have mounted a vigorous defense of the PLDC in recent weeks, decrying a “campaign of misinformation.” Abercrombie dismissed critics, calling them the “usual suspects” and characterizing their concerns as overblown.

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