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Maui Charter Commission to host additional meetings on proposed charter amendments

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Maui Charter Commission Nov. 18, 2021 virtual meeting. PC: Maui Charter Commission / Akakū

The Maui Charter Commission has scheduled two additional public meetings to hear testimony and deliberate on proposed County Charter amendments leading up to submission of its Draft Report to the County Council on Feb. 18.  The next meetings are planned for Monday, Feb. 7 and Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 9 a.m. online via BlueJeans. 

At its last meeting on Thursday, commissioners received testimony from one individual opposing Proposal 15 concerning the Planning Department.  Following public testimony, the commission discussed amendments to Proposal 1 concerning Council elections and reapportionment.  

If approved by voters during the November election, this charter amendment would realign the nine-member County Council into three “electoral regions”  with each region containing three “residency areas”.  The proposal would require that the Council include one resident from each of the nine residency areas (Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i, East Maui, North Maui, South Maui, West Maui, Kahului, Wailuku, and Upcountry).  Residents would elect councilmembers from their electoral region only. Currently, all nine councilmembers are elected at-large.   

Professor Dick Mayer provided testimony on possible reapportionment scenarios, and Commissioners offered their own ideas, as well.  The lengthy discussion culminated with the Commission deciding that the proposed amendment should include a non-binding recommendation to a newly appointed reapportionment commission that would determine the boundaries of the three council electoral regions and nine residency areas. 

Also, on Thursday, the Commission voted to eliminate six proposals from the Draft Report because their passage would have minimal effect or, because they were already addressed by state law or County Code.  A decision on Proposal 2 concerning public access to records and meetings was deferred pending further analysis.  Additionally, commissioners endorsed extending the effective dates for several proposals requiring long lead time for implementation.

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At the next meeting on Monday, Feb. 7, after public testimony, revisions to the following amendment proposals will be discussed:

  • Proposal 15 — Planning Commissions and Citizen Advisory Committees
  • Proposal 29 – Community Boards
  • Proposal 16 – General Plan/Land Use Ordinances
  • Proposal 18 – Automatic Approvals/Time Deadlines
  • Proposal 20 and 26 – Cultural Resources Commission and ‘Oiwi Resources
  • Proposal 21 – Bifurcate Departments of Housing & Human Concerns
  • Proposal 30 – County Hearings Officer
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In addition, on Monday, the following proposals will be considered for deletion and referral to the Council: 31 and 32 – Initiative and Recall; 17 – Review Community Plans; and 19 – Island-wide plan for the island of Maui.

During the second meeting on Tuesday February 8th, after public testimony, revisions to the following amendment proposals will be discussed:

  • Proposal 22 – Semi-Autonomous Board of Water Supply
  • Proposal 34 and 35 – Independent Nomination Board and Selection Commission
  • Proposal 4 and 5 — Auditor
  • Proposal 7 – County Clerk
  • Proposal 8 – Appoint and Retain Administrative Department Heads
  • Proposal 11 and 12 – Corporation Counsel & Prosecutor
  • Proposal 37 – Remove Cap on Penalties

In addition, on Tuesday, the following proposals will be considered for deletion and referral to the Council:  23 – Directors of Water Supply and Environmental Management;  24 – Police Chief; 25 – Liquor Control Commission & Adjudication Board;  Proposal 3 – Office of Council Services; 13 – Appropriation;  14 – Good Standing; 27 – Director of Ethics / Ethics Board; 28 – Ethics; 33 – Board Qualifications; and 38 – Bilingual Government.

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Examination of proposed revisions will occur in agenda item order. Meeting agendas, approved proposals, written testimony, and other documents are available to the public on the Commission website.

This once every 10-year process is getting closer to this year’s ballot box and input from the public is vital to getting the best proposals on the ballot.  During meetings, the public can provide testimony to the commissioners via video or by telephone as they consider revisions to the proposals presented in the Draft Report. Please plan to participate in the next meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday at 9 a.m.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, public meetings are held online via BlueJeans.

The Charter Commission wants to hear your thoughts on these important topics concerning Maui County government.  The public is encouraged to send written testimony via email to  [email protected] To ensure timely distribution to the Commissioners, written testimony should be submitted at least two business days prior to the meetings.

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