Maui News

Cochran Proposes New Requirements for Board of Ethics, Planning Commission

May 5, 2016, 1:09 PM HST
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Elle Cochran. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Elle Cochran. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Councilmember Elle Cochran is floating a new proposal seeking new requirements for nominees to the Board of Ethics and the Maui Planning Commission.

Her proposal calls for at least two members of the Board of Ethics to be licensed attorneys and to include leaders of environmental protection and Hawaiian cultural groups on county planning commissions.

Cochran has submitted charter amendments to the council’s Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Presiding Officer Pro Tempore Michael P. Victorino to support her effort. The committee is charged with reviewing proposals to recommend for full council consideration.

Cochran’s resolution notes “responsibilities of the Board of Ethics include duties where knowledge of Hawaiʻi law and legal procedure would be of substantial benefit to the Board and the public.”

“The Board of Ethics has powers that can have long-term legal implications to the county,” said Cochran. “They can even initiate impeachment of an official.  Having members on the board with knowledge and understanding of the legal process would be beneficial to their purpose,” she said.


Another charter amendment proposed by Cochran would require the Maui, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi planning commissions to include an officer from an organization that advocates for Hawaiian cultural resources or practices and an officer from an organization that advocates for environmental protection and conservation.


“As we update our community plans, which identify needs and guide development for the next 20 years, culture and environment are the two things often least prioritized,” Cochran said. “This is why this charter amendment is an investment to ensure we don’t lose sight of what’s important.”

The council must pass charter amendment resolutions on two readings before a question can be placed on the next general election ballot.

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