Two committee resolutions offered
Council to hold public hearing on Monday
Maui County Council Members Riki Hokama and Kelly King have submitted different resolutions regarding the council’s standing committees and its members in a prelude to a public hearing Monday afternoon.
In a 13 1/2-hour meeting that began Jan. 2 and continued into Jan. 3, the council selected its leaders, with Mike White retaining his post as chairman, but was unable to choose its chairpersons and members for its standing committees.
Some council members complained about the size of the committees being proposed, that they were skewed in favor of the majority and about the duties of the committees. King and Council Members Elle Cochran and Alika Atay called for a public hearing on the committees.
The council has set a public hearing for 1:30 p.m. Monday in Council Chambers in Wailuku on the standing committees, defining their duties and appointing their members.
The resolutions by Hokama and King will be discussed at a council meeting likely to be held following the hearing. A meeting agenda for the council meeting had not been posted online as of Monday afternoon.
Hokama’s resolution, submitted Friday afternoon, mirrors the latest proposal the council was considering at its Jan. 2-3 meeting. His resolution includes amendments proposed at the meeting to include more council members on the committees.
White had proposed that some committees have five members and said that the reduction in members was meant to reduce the workload of members and to address quorum challenges due to absences. He said that the effort was not intended to reduce overall participation.
Hokama’s resolution has four committees with nine members and four committees with seven members and establishes the same eight committees originally offered by White.
“The past council had significant accomplishments because of quality work by its committees. My proposal supports continuity of the program with slight changes in subject matter to consider the expertise and interests of new council members,” Hokama said in an email statement Monday.
King’s resolution offers differences, including having all nine council members sit on each committee and rearranging responsibilities for some committees as proposed by Hokama and White.
King added a Committee of the Whole, to be chaired by Don Guzman, an attorney. The Committee of the Whole will handle litigation, amendments to the charter and operations of agencies and departments.
Hokama had Guzman, who was vice chairman of the council in the previous term, chairing the Parks, Recreation, Energy and Legal Affairs Committee.
Hokama, who chairs the Budget and Finance Committee in both proposals, established the Water Resources Committee to be chaired by Atay. King’s proposal has Atay chairing a broader committee, the Water, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation Committee.
King has Yuki Lei Sugimura leading the Economic Development, Energy and Transportation Committee; under Hokama’s plan, Sugimura would chair the Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee.
Hokama has Stacy Crivello leading the Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee; King would have Crivello just chairing the Housing and Human Services Committee.
“I have reviewed the descriptions of each committee and my proposal would align similar matters, such as water and agriculture, as well as economic development and transportation,” King said in an email statement Monday. “The configuration can also be more effective by restoring or removing certain duties and responsibilities. Land use ordinances not specific to a project can be better vetted under the Planning Committee,” she said. “Amendments to the subdivision ordinance, housing and building codes should also be under the jurisdiction of the Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee.”
“This council can have a more positive impact in the community if the committee structure is organized strategically.”
King would chair the Planning Committee; Robert Carroll, the Land Use Committee; and Cochran, the Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee in both proposals.
There are differences in the vice chairperson positions in several committees.
* Melissa Tanji can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.