Charter faces revisions
By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Robbie Dingeman
The Honolulu Charter Commission begins a series of community briefings this week to ask residents what proposed changes to the way city government runs should be placed on the November ballot.
The 13-member commission wants to hear from the public on a variety of ideas that have emerged as proposed ways to make city government run better through amendments to the City Charter, the legal document that spells out how the county government works.
Chairman Donn Takaki said he hopes people will share their views during the series of community briefings. Of the 108 proposals submitted to the commission, Takaki said, 42 remain.
Those still alive include proposals to: establish urban-growth boundaries, adopt "green" building standards, allow the city Ethics Commission to impose civil fines, increase the number of City Council members from the current nine to 11 or 13; delete the requirement for Social Security numbers on petitions; and delete the ban on political activities by Police Department employees.
"All of our meetings are open to the public, but these evenings are specifically dedicated to reaching out and asking for input from around the island," Takaki said. "We hope that everyone will take a look at the proposed amendments and tell us what changes they would like to see in the City Charter."
The charter requires that the mayor and the City Council appoint a commission every 10 years to review the charter and present suggested changes to the voters on the general election ballot.
Past changes approved by voters included the creation of the city auditor's office; term limits for the mayor and council members; and changing the city races to nonpartisan contests, where the candidates state no party affiliation.
Reach Robbie Dingeman at firstname.lastname@example.org.