Honolulu County Republican Committee On the Charter Amendments
News release from Honolulu County Republican Party, October 18, 2016
The Honolulu Charter Commission’s preparation of 20 proposed changes to the Charter for the voters to approve was not adequately covered by Honolulu media. Some proposed changes are too complex to decide on the information provided. Most shift responsibility away from the elected Mayor and Council, decreasing accountability in government. Many proposed changes will affect costs, yet no information on costs is provided to the voter. One proposed amendment, number 19, would give the dominant political party control over re-districting Council districts.
Republicans expect Honolulu's elected officials themselves to take charge, see that planning is done, and carry out the people's business.
The Charter already provides sufficient powers for the Mayor, the Council, and the various commissions to supervise, organize, and assign various duties to appointed officials and the civil service workforce.
The Honolulu County Republican Party urges all Party members and all voters to vote NO on all 20 questions.
Here are the 20 questions on the ballot:
And here is the rationale for each "NO" vote:
- Mayor already appoints commissioners who hire and can fire the Police Chief for cause.
- Setting attorneys' salaries is for the Mayor to propose, and for the Council to enact by ordinance. The Ethics Commission already sets the Executive Director's salary.
- As is the case with other departments, the Mayor should continue to be able to withhold funds from the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney.
- This proposed amendment to form a Rate Commission is complex and far-reaching in its effect. The City Council should have the opportunity to consider this as a stand-alone proposal and the public should have an opportunity for more input.
- The current income limits for residents of Affordable Housing Fund-assisted dwellings of less than 50 percent of the median household income should be retained.
- Mayor and Council can already require departments responsible for the City's infrastructure to prepare long-term plans.
- No to additional bureaucracy: Mayor and Council are already the leaders.
- Again, this would create additional bureaucracy. Mayor and Council already have power to direct how land is managed.
- If Honolulu citizens want an accredited zoo, the Council can fund it.
- Too confusing to deserve a vote given the lack of preparation for voters.
- Council and Mayor can already solicit advice without creating another advisory commission.
- This is already the Mayor's and Council's power and responsibility.
- Charter shouldn't limit Mayor and Council's power to fund charities.
- Current requirement to hold special elections within 60 days is for promptness and a public vote. Good enough.
- Term limits on elected officials are in place and should remain as they are.
- Keeping City design and construction projects as the responsibility of the Department of Design and Construction makes more sense.
- Nothing wrong with continuing to require the Mayor to personally sign all documents requiring execution by the City.
- More commissioners are not needed.
- This would upset fairness and balance and potentially lock in one-party control of Council re-districting.
- Mayor, Mayor's appointees, and the Council can direct these changes.
Here is the Honolulu Charter: http://www.honolulu.gov/rep/site/cor/rch/Online_Charter_v02.25.16.pdf
Again, please vote “No” on all 20 questions.
Honolulu County GOP Chair