March 1972 Home   Newsletters

Apr 1972

May 1972

Seven Elected! Program Adopted! By-Law Change Debated!
April Calendar
Unit: Spectrum "The L EAG ue and I" Part II
Community Announcements - Hawaii Nei 1972
Membership Memo
Voters Service
LWV General Meeting "Problems of Renting in Hawaii" (Vangie Lamberts)
Charter Commission - Observer's Report (Elizabeth Piper)
State Convention April 7th and 8th
National Updates
New Members Since December
Facts and Issues: Planning Part 3 - April 1972

Charter Commission - Observer's Report

The 13-member Charter Commission (6 members chosen by the mayor, 6 by the City Council and 1 by both) which has met with an average of 9 members present for over 100 hours during the past 7 months, is composed of 2 women and 11 men (1 young and 12 mature) who have been or are elected officials, appointed officials, business heads, union heads, scholarly heads, newspaper head, students, citizen representative, (including 5 lawyers and a member of the Charter Commission), and are of varied religions and races.

Testimony has been heard from the Mayor, his offices, the City Council, its offices, Department Heads and their assistants, Commissions, Boards, Committees, State officials, experts, journalists, professional groups, citizens' groups, and individuals. Anyone who feels that his or someone else's situation might be changed for worse or better by the Commission has had an opportunity to state his case and follow the statement with a letter clarifying the statement and to return and restate it if he chooses.

Although agendas are distributed at each meeting for both that meeting and further meetings and although the newspapers have carried from 3 to 4 articles each week on the Charter Commission and its work, outside attendance at regular meetings has consisted only of observers from the Board of Water Supply, Planning Department, and Tax Foundation of Hawaii Three special meetings held in local schools to bring the Commission to the public brought out less than one hundred people.

Deliberative sessions are now beginning. Divergent views are for the most part expressed pacifically and any early sign of vehemence is cooled by the balm of one member or the humor of another. No cliques have yet appeared. It is too soon to guess what will happen when positions harden.

As tentative proposals are formed they will be circulated to the executive and legislative by […] and outside experts for their opinions, public hearings will be announced and even telephone-ins have been suggested (the thought here being that there may be more response if people don't have to put on shoes and go out to a school somewhere.)

Mid-May has been mentioned as the ideal date for the completion of the first draft of a new charter, August as a more realistic date. The final draft will have to be ready by September 9 if it is to make the ballot in the general election (the last special election, Jan. 31, 1971, cost $75,000.).

The League has furnished the Charter Commission with copies of its consensus, has testified on apportionment, amendment and ethics, will follow the deliberations and public hearings and will be working on the final vote.

Elizabeth Piper

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