by Mark Hyde
Yesterday (3/31) the Special Committee on Governance heard more public testimony after which each member offered his or her thoughts on county government. Without exception, each member of the committee acknowledged problems with our local government and all agreed fixes are needed. However, a divide exists between those who believe tweaking is sufficient and those who believe more substantive change is needed. When a vote was called, 6 favored moving forward with development of a council-manager-mayor governance structure featuring professional management of day-to-day county operations; 5 opposed.
So what’s next? A group of 5 of those who support professional governance (Kimo Haynes, chair of the sub-committee, Jonathan Starr, Tamara Paltin, Keahu Filimoeatu, and Ray Phillip) have been asked to come up with three different governance models for presentation to the committee on April 21 - for additional consideration and another vote: whether to recommend one of the forms of council-manager-mayor government to the council.
What You Can Do
There are deep systemic flaws in our current form of county government. We need real change to move Maui County forward. Let the committee know you want the right to vote on our government structure. Tell them not to fear democracy and the electorate in November. Email the special committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.