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Let’s leave county charter like it is

Maui County Council seems determined to turn our county government upside down in order to create a new position they call a “managing director.”

But I don’t get it. We already have a managing director, similar to the other islands. That individual is appointed by the mayor and serves as the second in command in the executive branch.

Past managing directors have all been Maui County residents, with strong credentials and served our county well.

My guess is the County Council wanted a power grab to strip the mayor of authority and place the county’s day-to-day operations under the control of a new and improved managing director, who would be indirectly appointed by the council.

In that scenario, where exactly does the “buck stop?” How would the average resident know who is in charge of what? Maui County’s charter was created on the principle of a strong mayor, so the electorate is clear who is in charge and who to hold responsible. 

Under the new proposal, it becomes murky at best, with the mayor being able to recommend hiring and firing the managing director, but the council has final approval. If we ever need to get rid of someone that doesn’t work out, lookout for a big blame game! We will be making a process already political, even more political. 

On top of that, it is unlikely that the council’s new managing director will even be from Hawaii.

I’m voting no on the charter amendments. Let’s leave it like it is.

Edward B. Garcia

Kihei

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