Maui News

Charter Commission acts on proposed amendments; Chair Collins resigns

December 23, 2021, 1:33 PM HST
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The Maui County Charter Commission concluded its hearings Thursday, on more than 130 proposed charter amendments. Votes were taken on Theme J, miscellaneous and new items, four newly submitted proposals, and various commissioner motions to modify language in certain previously adopted proposals.  

Additionally, in a surprising announcement, Commission Chair Lance Collins announced his resignation effective at the end of Thursday’s meeting. Collins cited a conflict between his service on the commission and a new role he had accepted. Later that day, Collins was appointed a District Court Judge for the Second Circuit Court of Hawai‘i. He was sworn in on Monday.

Lance D. Collins. PC: Hawaiʻi Judiciary. (file 2016)

According to documents filed by the State Supreme Court, Collins’ appointment is effective for a one-year term starting Dec. 20.  Said Collins, “I’m grateful to the people of Maui County for the opportunity to have served as a commissioner.  I look forward to considering the commission’s final proposed amendments in November as a voter.”  

Vice-Chair Grant Chun is the acting chair for the Charter Commission as it continues its once a decade review of the County Charter.

Votes taken under Theme J did not result in the adoption of any new amendment proposals.  The Commission examined proposals to establish an independent utility authority and to place all water sources under the direct management of the County, among others. No action was taken on the proposals to establish a new Department of Information Technology and to adopt FAA rules for Maui County.

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The Commission also considered and adopted recommendations by the temporary investigative group on the Hearings Officer and the TIG on Style related to modifying language in previously adopted proposals.  Other adopted recommendations included modifications to the selection process for County Auditor, and the removal process for Corporation Counsel and Prosecuting Attorney.  

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Two proposals associated with the Police Commission were not approved.  The first would have excluded the Police Commission from administrative hearings officer oversight, and the second would have added the hiring of deputy police chiefs to its jurisdiction.

Four previously unsubmitted proposals were also considered, with three gaining approval from the Commission.  If approved by voters in the 2022 election these proposals would:

  • Establish a new Department of ‘Ōiwi Resources to support the County’s stewardship of Native Hawaiian cultural resources;  
  • Remove “no compensation” language for members of boards and commissions; and
  • Repeal the obsolete provisions of Article 15, Transitional Provisions. 

The Charter Commission encourages the public to review and learn about the proposed amendments that have been adopted.  Details on the Commission’s decisions are available on the County’s website https://www.mauicounty.gov/DocumentCenter/Index/5153.  

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A preliminary report detailing all proposed charter amendments will be available to the public in mid-January.

The Commission will conduct meetings the evenings of Jan. 26 and 27 for the public to provide testimony. The Commission has until Feb. 18, 2022 to submit its list of proposed amendments to the County Council for review.

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