Last call today for changes to charter

Committee will review final set of amendments

The Maui News

Today may be a County Council committee’s last day to consider charter amendments to be put on the November ballot, including one to reorganize the county’s executive branch by establishing the Office of the Managing Director.

The council Policy, Economic Development and Agriculture Committee spent several hours Monday discussing and reviewing the amendment that calls for hiring a professional director, who would be responsible for the county’s daily operations. The mayor would be the county’s chief executive officer and supervise the managing director’s work.

Committee Chairwoman Yuki Lei Sugimura had set Monday as the deadline to take action on the proposed amendments. Amendments recommended for approval by the committee still require two readings by the full council en route to the county clerk and the general election ballot on Nov. 6.

Monday’s meeting was recessed until 9 a.m. today in Council Chambers. That time slot opened up when the council Budget and Finance Committee meeting was canceled, Sugimura said.

In addition to the county manager proposal, other possible amendments include establishing an Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency and a Department of Land Management and deleting the requirement of the council having to approve the removal of the director of Water Supply.

Last month, the committee agreed to recommend for approval three proposed charter amendments.

One would establish a $20,000 penalty for illegal transient accommodations and another amendment would streamline the processing of claims against the county. The third proposed amendment calls for expanding the uses of the Open Space, Natural Resources, Cultural Resources and Scenic Views Preservation Fund to include safety and security improvements on lands acquired through the fund.

All three resolutions are up for first reading at the Friday’s council meeting.