11 Proposed Amendments Included in Final Maui Charter Report

April 3, 2012, 12:34 PM HST · Updated April 4, 10:21 AM
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Maui Charter Commission. Maui Now file photo.

By Wendy Osher

The Maui Charter Commission submitted a final report to Maui Council Chair Danny Mateo on Friday. The document included 11 proposed amendments to the County Charter, which sets the structure of county government.

The document reflects 10 months of work by the commission following a series of public meetings and deliberations in which the commission initially received more than 125 proposals.

That list was narrowed to 21, and put forth to the public in draft language during a second round of public meetings held in December and January.

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After further deliberation, the commission voted to put 11 of the 21 proposals through as questions on the November 2012 ballot.

Commission Chair, Joshua Stone expressed gratitude for the opportunity to propose the amendments, which he said, “the commission feels will be beneficial to our government and the people of Maui County.”

The proposed amendments include the following questions:

  • Proposal 1, Council term limits:  Shall Section 3.2, of the Charter of the County of Maui be amended to: (a) Change the term of office for Council members from two (2) to four (4) years; and (b) Limit the term to no more than three (3) consecutive terms; and (c) Have the terms be staggered?
  • Proposal 2, Assigning Ocean Safety and Rescue from the Department of Parks and Recreation to the Department of Fire and Public Safety:  Shall Section 8-7.4 of the Charter of the County of Maui be amended to assign shoreline and ocean rescue and safety to the Department of Fire and Public Safety?
  • Proposal 3, County Council, New Section, Office of the County Auditor:  Shall the Charter be amended to establish an independent Office of the County Auditor, to provide for the appointment and removal of an independent County Auditor by the County Council, to define the County Auditor’s duties and powers in order to increase accountability and efficiency of County operations, to attach the Cost of Government Commission as an advisory board to the County Auditor, and to make other clarifying, conforming, transitional, and related amendments?
  • Proposal 4, Require interactive communications access for public testimony at all council and council committee meetings:  Shall Article 3, County Council, of the Charter of the County of Maui be amended to require interactive communications access for public testimony at all County Council and County Council committee meetings for the residents of Hana, Lana’i, Moloka’i and other geographic areas as the Council deems appropriate and reasonable?
  • Proposal 5, Add a new section to require that the Charter be revised and published to include all new significant amendments adopted:  Shall Article 14, Charter Amendments, be amended to add a new section to require that the Maui County Charter be revised and published to include all new significant amendments adopted?
  • Proposal 6, Require the County of Maui to fund the defense of members of all County of Maui Boards and Commissions and to indemnify said members:  Shall Article 13, General Provisions, of the Charter of the County of Maui be amended to require the County of Maui to fund the defense of members of all County of Maui boards and commissions in the bona fide and good faith discharge of their official duties and indemnify said members in the event of civil action as a result of the lawful performance of their duties?
  • Proposal 7, County Council residency requirements:  Shall Section 3.3 of the Charter of the County of Maui be amended to increase the time period for residency requirements in the County of Maui, and from the area which the person seeks to be elected from 90 days to 1 year before a candidate for council files nomination papers?
  • Proposal 8, Mayor residency requirements:  Shall Section 7.3  of the Charter of the County of Maui be amended to increase the time period for residency requirement in the County of Maui from 90 days to 1 year before a candidate for Mayor files nomination papers?
  • Proposal 9, to add Environmental Protection and Sustainability to the powers, duties, and functions of the Department of Environmental Management:  Shall Section 8-15.3 of the Charter of the County of Maui be amended to add the following to the Powers, Duties and Functions of the Director of the Department of Environmental Management:  Guide efforts to optimize opportunities for environmental, natural  resource protection, sustainability, conservation, and restoration?
  • Proposal 10: Shall Chapters 7 (Department of Fire and Public Safety), 9 (Department of Personnel Services), 12 (Department of Police), and 13 (Department of Liquor Control) of Article 8 of the Charter be amended to provide consistency in the process in which the various commissions of the listed departments that appoint its directors or chiefs handle the evaluation and removal of its directors or chiefs?
  • Proposal 11: Shall the Preamble of the Maui County Charter be amended to add that the people of the County of Maui being mindful of their Hawaiian history, heritage and culture and uniqueness as a four island County shall dedicate their efforts to fulfill the philosophy decreed by the Hawaii State motto, “Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono,” [“The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.”]?
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