Councilmember Cochran proposes new membership requirements for Board of Ethics, planning commissions
WAILUKU – West Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran proposes to require at least two members of the Board of Ethics be licensed attorneys, and to include leaders of environmental protection and Hawaiian cultural groups on county planning commissions, she announced last week.
Cochran has submitted charter amendments to the council’s Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Presiding Officer Pro Tempore Michael P. Victorino.
The committee is charged with reviewing proposals to recommend for full council consideration.
Cochran’s resolution notes: “responsibilities of the Board of Ethics include duties where knowledge of Hawaii law and legal procedure would be of substantial benefit to the Board and the public.”
“The Board of Ethics has powers that can have long-term legal implications to the county,” Cochran said. “They can even initiate impeachment of an official.
“Having members on the board with knowledge and understanding of the legal process would be beneficial to their purpose.”
Another charter amendment proposed by Cochran would require the Maui, Lanai and Molokai planning commissions to include an officer from an organization that advocates for Hawaiian cultural resources or practices, and an officer from an organization that advocates for environmental protection and conservation.
“As we update our community plans, which identify needs and guide development for the next 20 years, culture and environment are the two things often least prioritized,” Cochran said. “This is why this charter amendment is an investment to ensure we don’t lose sight of what’s important.”
The council must pass charter amendment resolutions on two readings before a question can be placed on the next general election ballot.
Cochran’s proposed resolutions are online at MauiCounty.us/cochran. For the latest news, follow @mauicounty on Twitter.