Gov. Abercrombie tries to calm public backlash over PLDC

Agency's rule-making process deferred to meet with opponents

Published  6:00 PM HST Nov 23, 2012
HONOLULU -

Gov. Neil Abercrombie says he will speak personally to those who have concerns over the Public Land Development Corporation.

The state legislature started the PLDC to oversee the growth of state-owned land.  However, the agency received plenty of backlash because residents are worried about the power the agency could have.

"We are concerned it will develop public land for profit and not conserve it for future generations," said Robert Harris from the Sierra Club, one of the groups opposed to the PLDC.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources oversees PLDC hosted public hearings across the state to set the ground rules for the organization.

During those hearings, many in the public wanted to repeal the agency all together.
However the governor says it would not be "productive" at this time.
Instead, he says he wants to meet with those who provided suggestions and comments for drafting the administrative rules, in hopes of coming up with a compromise.

"We want to make sure everyone feels that they've been heard," Abercrombie said. "We're trying in good faith to contact the people who have reached out to us and those who have contacted the board."

However, the Sierra Group thinks the talks may not be enough.

"We think it's a good step in the right direction," Harris said. " We appreciate the opportunity for dialogue but we also need to see concrete action. We think the best action is to start with a clean slate and do away with the PLDC"

The Department of Land and Natural Resources says this will delay the rule-making process a few months. Harris says despite what comes out from those meetings, the group still plans on getting a bill filed in the Legislature next year to repeal the PLDC.

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