IN A NUTSHELL: THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE’S RECOMMENDATION

I. Three Basic Changes:

o   The managing director should be hired by and report to the council through a selection process that is open and based on defined job-requirements.

Now: The mayor appoints the managing director in a closed process. The managing director is an aide to the mayor with limited authority. Job requirements are minimal.  The job term is defined by elections, not performance.

o   The managing director should hire directors.

Now: The mayor appoints directors, except those hired by commissions.  Job requirements are minimal.  Job terms are defined by elections, not performance.  

o   The length of service of the managing director and his/her hired directors should be based on job performance.

Now: All must resign with each mayoral election.  Job retention is not performance based.  The structure is political.

II. Three Key Goals:

o   Bringing professionalism to the managing director role and to department directors: length of job service should depend on performance, not elections, and management selection should be based on professional criteria, not politics.  The role is that of a fully accountable manager. 

Now: “We are all political,” per the current managing director.  Every appointed director must resign with each new mayor unrelated to performance on the job.  The managing director’s role is weak.  Getting the mayor re-elected is a key job focus[1].

o   Creating continuity of management and career opportunities.

Now: Director terms are limited to 4 or 8 years based on political fortunes.

o   Creating a collaborative work environment. 

Now: Squabbles and poor communication between branches characterized by posturing. name-calling, communication barriers, and finger pointing.

III. Role of a Mayor v. Managing Director

The mayor will retain his/her existing powers with the exception of responsibility for day-to-day county operations. The managing director will assume responsibility for budgeting, budget management, policy implementation and departmental actions and oversight.

Continuing mayoral duties include:

o   Approve or veto of bills passed by the council;

o   Call a state of emergency in the county as currently provided by law;

o   Recommend members for appointment  boards and commissions;

o   Appoint his/her staff;

o   Communicate with the council on matters necessary or appropriate;

o   Conduct relations with other governing entities; and

o   Carry out ceremonial functions.

[1] “Ultimately, I think what Rod [Antone] is saying is that our primary goal above all else is to get the mayor re-elected.  Nothing else really matters . . . .”  Keith Regan, current managing director, quoted verbatim in the Maui News, 10/11/15, at p. A4.