Maui News

Planning and Possibly Police the Focus of Next Maui Charter Commission Meeting

October 20, 2021, 12:42 PM HST
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Charter County of Maui. Photo Credit: Maui County Council

The Maui Charter Commission will hear testimony and discuss Theme G – Planning and, if time allows, Theme H – Police, at its next meeting on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 9 am.

The 11-citizens Charter Commission is in the midst of a year-long review of the County Charter, which takes place every 10 years. The goal is to improve County government by looking for problems or deficiencies in the way the County now operates or seeking new ways to improve the system of local government by amending the County Charter. The public is encouraged to provide input on the agenda topics and other important matters.

The Oct. 21 meeting will begin with discussion on several charter amendment proposals that significantly alter how planning commissions function.

These are the Theme G – Planning proposals that did not have time to be discussed at the Oct. 7 meeting. During that meeting, the proposal to create a separate Planning Commission for each Community Plan area failed to be brought to the floor for discussion, but it still could be brought before the Commission at the Oct. 21 meeting.

Meanwhile, the proposal creating “community boards” remains open for debate. Two revisions to community plan areas are also under consideration:  the first would remove the exception that places the Kalaupapa Settlement outside of the Molokaʻi Planning Commission’s purview, and the second would remove Kahoʻolawe as part of the Maui Community Plan area. 

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Other proposals seek to abolish the Board of Variances and Appeals; remove or alter Citizen Advisory Committees; and revise timelines placed on those involved with land use decisions. 

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A suggestion making Planning Commission membership an elected position, rather than a mayoral appointment, is on the table. There also is a plan to establish the Cultural Resources Commission in the Charter; and charge the Planning Director with the responsibility to maintain an inventory of County lands deemed culturally or historically significant.

If time permits, the Commission also will receive testimony on Theme H – Police. Three similar proposals aim to increase public accountability by making the Police Commission more independent and enabling greater citizen oversight. Two others call for new requirements for the position of Chief of Police.

While the Commission already adopted a variety of charter amendment proposals that will appear before voters on the November 2022 ballot, several important conversations remain. Upcoming topics include: Theme I – Executive Branch (other than Planning and Police) and Theme J – Miscellaneous and New Provisions. Compelling proposals have been put forth under both of these themes. 

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The community is urged to visit the Charter Commission website at http://www.mauicounty.gov/CharterCommission and learn about upcoming proposals, as well as those already adopted. 

During Charter Commission meetings, the public can provide testimony via video or by telephone as the Commission takes up the various Themes on its agenda. Agenda items are subject to cancellation and are taken up in the order listed, as time permits. The Commission receives testimony on the topics on its agenda moving from one “Theme” to the next. Written testimony can be submitted at any time, but to ensure timely distribution to the Commissioners, it should be submitted at least two business days prior to the meetings. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, public meetings are held online via BlueJeans.

The Charter Commission wants to hear your thoughts on these important topics concerning Maui County government.  To offer your recommendations visit mauichartersurvey.org.  The public is also encouraged to send written testimony via email to  [email protected]. For more information and to join Maui Charter Commission meetings via BlueJeans, follow the link on the Commission website at http://www.mauicounty.gov/CharterCommission

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