Maui Charter Commission To Consider Executive Branch Proposals & New Items
The Maui Charter Commission is nearing the end of its year-long review and will consider the eight remaining Executive Branch proposals and take up the final theme of “Miscellaneous and New Matters” during an online meeting Thursday, Dec. 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.
In January, there will be a period of public comment before the final list of proposed amendments is submitted to the County Council for review in February. Approved charter amendments will appear before voters on the November 2022 ballot.
At the upcoming Thursday meeting, proposals scheduled for public testimony and discussion under Theme I (Executive Branch other than Policing and Planning) include:
- Establish the managing director as a non-partisan county chief executive
- Give the Board of Water Supply more authority in managing the operations and preservation of the County water supply
- Establish a Board of Review for Real Property tax assessments and appeals.
The Commission also will evaluate proposals related to the structure of the departments of Housing, Human Concerns and Liquor Control, including abolishing the Liquor Control Adjudication Board.
The second agenda item scheduled for the meeting is Theme J, Miscellaneous and New Provisions, a diverse assortment of fourteen proposed amendments. They include:
- Mandate the County operate as a bilingual (English/Hawaiian) government
- Create a deputy director position to act as a liaison between the County and the Department of Hawaiian Homelands, and work to develop housing programs for beneficiaries within the County
- Establish a new Department of Information Technology to manage the County’s central data processing system
- Establish an independent utility authority responsible for the planning, development and management of utilities services
- Place all water sources under the direct management of the County instead of private entities
- Several proposals seek modification of the signature thresholds for referenda and initiatives
Future Charter Commissions could be impacted if Commission related proposals are adopted and approved by voters in 2022. Among them are removal of a provision requiring approval of amendments by the County Council; a mandate that a fiscal impact assessment for all amendments be provided to the public prior to the election; and clarification of the relationship between the Commission’s powers and duties and Corporation Counsel’s opinions.
The Maui Charter Commission is made up of 11 citizens. The review takes place every 10 years. The goal is to improve County government by looking for problems or deficiencies in the way the County now operates or seeking new ways to improve the system of local government by amending the County Charter.
During Charter Commission meetings, the public can provide testimony via video or telephone on scheduled agenda items.
Agenda items are taken up in the order listed, as time permits. Written testimony can be submitted prior to the meeting via email to Charter.Commission@mauicounty.gov. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, public meetings are held online via BlueJeans. For more information and to join Maui Charter Commission meetings via BlueJeans follow the link on the Commission website http://www.mauicounty.gov/CharterCommission.
As it nears completion of the year-long review of charter amendment proposals, which is done once a decade, the Charter Commission is encouraging the public to review and learn about the proposed amendments that have been adopted.
A preliminary report will be available for public comment in January. The Commission has until Feb. 18, 2022 to submit its list of proposed amendments to the County Council for review. For more information visit the Commission website http://www.mauicounty.gov/CharterCommission.