No Proposals Adopted at Maui Charter Commission Thursday Meeting
Over the next several months the Maui County Charter Commission will discuss 130 charter amendment proposals that will be considered for placement on the November 2022 ballot. At its meeting on Thursday, the Commission chose not to adopt seven of the proposals placed before it, deferred action on another, and transferred two to the County Council.
The Commission rejected two proposals to modify County Council elections. The first of the proposals would have established that a candidate receiving an absolute majority in a race with three or more candidates in the primary election be considered elected outright and not appear on the general election ballot. The second proposal before the Commission allowed for a ranked-choice system in which voters could rank candidates by preference. Both proposals, components of Theme A – County Council Districting and Elections, would have represented a significant change from our current system.
The Commission also deliberated on Theme D — Budget and Finance. After lengthy testimony that included the views of three sitting Councilmembers and one former Councilmember, a proposed amendment to shift to a two-year budget cycle was forwarded to the County Council for its consideration. A second proposal requiring that contracts for County Clerk and County Auditors offices be signed by the Director of Finance was tabled for future discussion. Four other proposed budgeting process modifications related to signing authority and submission dates drew little support.
In addition to Budgeting, the Commission considered two proposals under the Finance umbrella related to natural and cultural resources and open space. The first required consultation with the Cultural Resources Commission prior to land purchases that utilize the Open Space Preservation Fund. But, because the Cultural Resources Commission is only established by ordinance, Corporation Counsel advised the Commission against adoption, and the proposal was forwarded to the County Council. A second proposal to increase the minimum Open Space Preservation Fund allotment from one to two percent of real property tax revenue was not approved
Due to the volume of public testimony and discussion on the aforementioned topics, agenda items Theme E – Ethics and Theme F – General Provisions and Boards/Commissions were deferred until the next meeting scheduled for September 30. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, all meetings are held via BlueJeans.
The Commission wants to hear your thoughts on these, and other, important topics concerning Maui County government. However, video or phone testimony during the meeting will only be accepted on the topics on the Commission’s agenda.
For more information, agendas, and to join a meeting via BlueJeans follow the link on the Charter Commission website mauicounty.gov/CharterCommission. The public is also encouraged to send written testimony via email to [email protected], or utilize the simple online survey available at MauiCharterSurvey.org. To ensure timely distribution to the Commission, written testimony should be submitted at least two business days prior to the meetings.