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President's Message
Membership Meeting
Explanation of Major Changes in Bylaws (Piilani Kaopuiki)
Budget to Cut Aid to Poor and Disabled
How to Turn Your Concerns into Law
Planning and Transportation Committee (Pearl Johnson)
City Council Dislikes Sunshine Law (Pearl Johnson)

Presidents Message

Happy Thanksgiving

Keeping on top of the Honolulu Charter Commissions activities has been high on the agenda for 2005. An area of special interest is a proposed change to the Citys Ethics Commission. Last year League testified in support of Councilman Djous resolution to give them more power, specifically to levy fines like the State Campaign Spending Finance Commission does. After the public workers unions legal representative expressed opposition, the Council decided to duck the issue and referred it to the next Charter Commission. So here we are and paying attention. The first round of public comments and suggestions were due by October 31. Here is what League proposed:

  1. The City Ethics Commission should be empowered to levy civil fines for violation of the citys ethical standards.
  2. There should be uniform ethics standards for all elected and appointed government officials and government employees.
  3. An independent city body should be established to submit ethics commission nominees to the Mayor for appointment to ensure that ethics commissioners are selected in a manner that assures their independence and impartiality.
  4. League will support a small increase in the number of council seats provided that the seats are at-large.
  5. The limitation on the use of the initiative process to levy taxes should be removed. Registered voters should be allowed to have some control over taxes that affect their daily living costs.

League is also joining with the Trust for Public Land and our other partners who collectively persuaded the State Legislature and Governor to allocate a portion of the State conveyance tax to affordable housing and land preservation, to support a similar proposal for Honolulu. The proposed amendment would mandate that 1% of all real property tax revenue taken in by the county each year be spent on affordable housing programs and land protection (a half a percent for each). If accepted by the commission and approved by voters, this would result in about $3M a year dedicated on O'ahu for affordable housing, and $3M a year dedicated to land preservation. The chances of approval by voters should be pretty high, since Maui and Kaua'i voters approved their ballot measures by whopping 73% margins and polling shows that voters want to support affordable housing and land protection here, too.

This is just the first round of public input. Piilani Kaopuiki and Evangeline Funk are Co-chairs of the Council Watch Committee which is following the Charter Commission. If you have ideas and suggestions, please let them know

Jackie Parnell

LVW - Honolulu

President - Jackie Parnell
Vice President - Piilani Kaopuiki
Secretary - Robin Loomis
Treasurer - Malia Schwartz
Editor - Pearl Johnson
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