Maui Charter Commission to review final report and voter guide
The Maui Charter Commission will meet this Thursday, May 19, to review and approve its Draft Final Report detailing 11 proposed amendments to the County Charter.
The 11 proposals are slated for a vote during the November 2022 election. Once approved, the Final Report will be forwarded to the Maui County Clerk who will add the 11 proposal questions to the ballot.
Along with the Draft Final Report, the Commission will also review and approve the 2022 Voter Guide which explains for voters the consequences of a “Yes” or “No” vote on each proposal. The Voter Guide will be mailed to voters for their use prior to the election.
For over a year, the 11-member Maui Charter Commission studied and reviewed the operation of County government under the existing Charter. Tasked with proposing amendments or writing a new Charter, the Commission initially received a total of 158 proposals. It conducted more than 25 meetings and heard hours of public testimony in order to pare down the list to the following proposals.
If approved these proposals would:
- Require remote communications with the public during Council meetings; remove certain requirements for Council’s organizational meeting; and allow access to County records;
- Require the County Auditor to assess the financial impacts of proposed Charter amendments;
- Authorize the County Clerk to update the Charter and prohibit the County Clerk and Deputy County Clerk from actively participating in management of political campaigns;
- Limit the powers of the Mayor to appoint administrative department heads;
- Require representation from each council residency area on the Planning Commission; allow that Kalaupapa be included within the jurisdiction of the Molokaʻi Planning Commission upon State action; allow for the community plan update process to be set by ordinance;
- Separate the Department of Housing & Human Concerns into two departments; create the Housing Advisory Board and Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Liaison within the new Department of Housing;
- Create the Department of ‘Ōiwi Resources and affirm that the County operate as a bilingual government;
- Add requirements to the Code of Ethics regarding the financial interests of County officers;
- Create a 9-member Independent Nomination Board to recommend individuals for County boards, commissions and the positions of County Clerk, Auditor, Corporation Counsel, and Prosecuting Attorney (Commission version); OR
- (9A) Create an 11-member Independent Nomination Board to nominate individuals for County boards, commissions and the positions of Corporation Counsel, and Prosecuting Attorney (Council alternative);
- Allow that penalties for violations of law be set by Council by ordinance;
- Require that the Chief of Police submit a written report when the Chief disagrees with the Police Commission findings (Commission version); OR
- (11A) Require that the Chief of Police submit a written report when the chief disagrees with the Police commission findings, upon the Police Commission’s request (Council Alternative)
Two versions of Proposals No. 9 and No. 11 will appear on the ballot because the Commission and the Council did not reach agreement on their preferred language.
This once every 10-year process is getting closer to this year’s ballot box and the community is encouraged to participate in order to get the best proposals on the ballot. Although substantive changes can no longer be made to the proposals, public testimony will be considered at the meeting which will be held via the BlueJeans video conferencing platform. During the meeting, the public can provide testimony to the commissioners via video or by telephone.
Members of the public may also observe the remote meeting or testify in-person using audio/visual technology at the County of Maui Service Center – Department of Liquor Control Conference Room, 110 ‘Ala‘ihi Street, Suite #212A in Kahului.
Should the May 19 meeting be recessed until May 20, public access will be available at the Planning Department Conference Room, 250 S. High Street, Kalana Pakui Building in Wailuku. Note: The Commissioners may not be physically present at either location.
Written testimony can be sent via email to Charter.Commission@mauiCounty.gov. To ensure timely distribution to the Commissioners, written testimony should be submitted at least two business days prior to the meetings. For more information, to review the meeting documents, and to join Maui Charter Commission meetings via BlueJeans follow the link on the Commission website http://www.mauiCounty.gov/CharterCommission.