Panel Recommends Charter Amendment

by Mark Hyde

Today the Special Committee on Governance voted 6 -3, with two members absent, to recommend Council consideration of a charter amendment (for the November ballot) that will, if enacted, implement council-manager government, the most common and progressive form of city and county government in America in communities similar to ours.  If enacted, the effect would be to place day-to-day county operations in the hands of a professional manager hired by the Council while retaining a popularly elected mayor with veto power, who would continue to represent the county inter-governmentally and who would appoint citizens to boards and commissions.  This is step #1 in a three step process, the next being Council approval of the Resolution followed by approval by the people in November.

According to comments made by Council Services personnel today, the Special Committee proposal will be posted to the County’s website no later than May 27 for Council hearing June 3.   

We and many others in our community believe it’s time to adopt the changes recommended by the Special Committee given the increasing complexity of county government, one with a $700,000,000 annual budget, 2,700 employees and responsibility for many critical services.  We also believe there are serious flaws in the way county government is currently being administered, which can be addressed through this change.

Chair of the Council Committee to which this matter will return - Michael Victorino, Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee - recently wrote: "The PIA Committee has jurisdiction over amendments to the County Charter, which is the County of Maui’s foundational document. I intend to carefully review all the charter amendments submitted by my colleagues or the public and decide which are worthy of a public discussion in committee.”   Please let Mr. Victorino and other council members know you want to decide this matter through the democratic process at the ballot box in November.   Email: PIA.committee@mauicounty.us.