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Charter Commission now at work and looking for input

By Staff | Jun 25, 2021

WAILUKU — Once a decade, the mayor and Maui County Council appoint a commission of 11 citizens to conduct a year-long review of Maui County’s governing document, the Maui County Charter.

The goal of that review is to improve county government by looking for problems or deficiencies in the way the county now operates or seeking new ways to improve our system of local government by amending the County Charter.

Part of the process of doing that is to seriously seek the input of county residents.

The commission is now doing that and is setting up various methods to hear about the commission’s activities, participate in meetings, and, ideally, to suggest new ways of conducting the county’s business.

Expect to hear more about these activities.

For those new to governance in the Hawaiian Islands, the county government has been the local level of government in Maui County for the last 120 years.

The county is made up four major islands: Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe.

The county government’s responsibility spans the four islands and the residents who occupy them.

Since the mid-1960s, Maui County has conducted once-a-decade comprehensive reviews of the County Charter.

The current review was initiated in March and has so far been focused on hearing input from citizens; receiving ideas for amendments to the Charter; and establishing its game plan.

The commission is composed of 11 county citizens — nine appointed by the County Council and two by the mayor.

Commission members appointed for the 2021-2022 session are: Lance D. Collins (Makawao), Chair; Grant Y.M. Chun (Wailuku), Vice Chair; Kelson Kauanoe Batangan (Kahului); Doreen N. Canto (Kula); David P. DeLeon (Haiku); Paul C. Deslauriers (Kihei); Karey K. Kapoi (Wailuku); Keoni J. Kuoha (Pukalani); Douglas W. Mardfin (Hana); Ashley Olson (Lahaina); and George Purdy IV (Lanai).

The proposals for amendments the commission generates will be put before the electorate at the next general election, Nov. 8, 2022.

The commission is actively seeking the input and involvement of the general community in achieving its mission of improving the County Charter.

The 71-page charter is something like a constitution, only a little more “nuts and bolts.”

It details who is in-charge of what responsibilities, the deadlines the county must keep, and how we elect our leaders.

Citizens who want to learn more about the charter, this review process or find out when the next commission meeting is should go to the Charter Commission website at http://www.mauicounty.gov/CharterCommission.

Until further notice, all commission meetings will be held online via BlueJeans. To obtain the BlueJeans meeting link and ID, click on the Commission Meeting Online Calendar on the website and follow the prompts.