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SENATE WATER AND LAND CHAIR CO-AUTHORS LETTER PRESSING DLNR TO INCLUDE STATUS OF KALEO MANUEL AT THE

September 21st, 2023


Honolulu, Hawaiʻi – To address and mitigate ongoing controversy and confusion that has arisen surrounding the Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM), the Chair of the Senate Committee on Water and Land Senator Lorraine Inouye (Senate District 1, Hilo, Paukaa, Papaikou, Pepe‘ekeo) co-authored a letter sent this afternoon to the Chair of the Board of Land and Natural Resources, Dawn Chang, and the CWRM Commissioners calling for the issue of Mr. Kaleo Manuel's employment status, including his reinstatement as CWRM First Deputy, to be addressed by CWRM as an agenda item at the next meeting on October 17, 2023.

"I am perturbed that the removal of Kaleo Manuel happened without the members of the Commission on Water Resource Management even being consulted beforehand. The decision to remove Kaleo Manuel should have first been communicated to all the Commissioners," said Senator Inouye. "Furthermore, Chair Chang does not have the power to unilaterally remove the CWRM First Deputy and to do so required a majority vote from the Commission. I would like clarity as to whose decision it was exactly to remove Kaleo Manuel from his position. Kaleo Manuel had an outstanding track record as the CWRM First Deputy, and he was always fair and balanced in his approach to making water conservation decisions. He always kept the Āina, and the water rights of the people of Hawai‘i front of mind when doing his job. Someone of Kaleo Manuel's character deserved a better outcome than to be dismissed in the way that he was."


A copy of today's letter to Chair Chang and the CWRM Commissioners, and a copy of a recent letter from Chair Chang to Senator Inouye and the letter's co-authors are attached.


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