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A charter amendment could set real term limits

The Aug. 13 editorial states the Maui Mayor and County Council face “term limits.” Unfortunately, this is not true. I just tested the system last election cycle and the corporation counsel said — hey, they can come back as many times as they want with the present wording of the County Charter.

The editorial says, “We resent career politicians — by that we mean pols who spend an entire career in one position racking up immense pensions and relying on name recognition, not accomplishment, to assure continuous return to office.

Such a politician also builds a huge power base over the years. That can work to both the benefit — and the detriment — of constituents.”

I couldn’t agree more. Look at the makeup of our council — how many totally career politicians are on the council that could literally run till they die and be reelected — with a one term “sit it out” period, then back on the ticket. Riki Hokama and his father have held the Lanai position for over 50 combined years, and we had Alan Arakawa for 12 and we saw how that turned out.

Isn’t it time for a County Charter amendment that gives a set time and then pau for our local politicians — say 12 years for council and eight for mayor — then no way to run again? Please back a Maui charter amendment change that would once and for all tell people to run for government, but don’t make it your retirement plan.

Sean Lester

Haiku