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March 1973

April 1973

General Meeting
March Calendar
President's Notes (Dee Lum)
Voters Service (Claudia Patil)
Membership Memo - Capitol Tour Report (Maury Muence)
Susie Orient Says... (Susie Orient)
Foreign Trade Page - Consensus Unit
Effects of Trade Policy on Economic Development (Robert McNamara)
Update - from "VISITS", U.N. Publication
Report from the Nominating Committee
Proposed Program
Proposed Local Program
Proposed Budget - April 1973 - March 1974
Seminar to Look at Hawaii Taxes

Proposed Local Program

I. The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of Honolulu recommends the following agenda for local Program for 1973-74.

  1. Current Agenda Item Requiring Active Study-and Consensus

    1. Planning study - Study of the planning process at the county level focusing specifically on the following questions:

      1. How does the division of planning authority between the county and state agencies affect the efficiency of the planning process?

      2. Is the division of planning authority in the county efficient, and should the agencies directly involved in planning be expanded?

      3. How might the planning process in the county be completely restructured to accommodate new issues?

      4. How is the Capital Budget developed and evaluated?

      5. What is the history of the current Master Plan?

      6. How does the General Plan Revision Plan work and in what ways might this plan be revised to be more effective? ,

  2. Current Agenda Items which are established positions and on which action can be taken.

    1. Planning (Consensus Adopted June, 1972)

      1. The present distribution of authority between the City Council and the Administration should be maintained.

        1. Public participation is highly desirable; any means that increase public knowledge and participation are advantageous.
        2. Area informational sessions held by the Planning Department should be mandatory.

        3. Community involvement should occur at the earliest possible stages, especially in General Plan formation and revision.

        1. Retain the Planning Commission, seeking membership with a "broad" viewpoint, and maintain their advisory role.
        2. Consider increasing the commission's membership, to no more than twelve

        3. encourage the appointment of women.

        4. Pay commissioners for their services ($50/meeting).

      2. The Capital Improvement, budget should be formulated by the Planning Department and reviewed by the Planning Commission.

        1. The General Plan should be a flexible state of long-range, comprehensive goals without restriction to physical land use planning.

        2. For General Plan amendments, hearings should be held on a mandatory basis by the Planning Department to insure early citizen input.

        3. Review of the General Plan should be mandatory at fixed, short intervals and possibly done in conjunction with the CIP review for that year.

        1. Routine zoning changes should be removed from the jurisdiction of the City Council. These changes could be dealt with by a zoning administrator; however a citizen would have appeal right to the City Council.
        2. Those specific matters currently handled by the Zoning Board of Appeals should be continued.

    2. Diamond Head - The League of Women Voters of Honolulu supports the preservation of Diamond Head as a historical, cultural, and scenic site, with minimum development of the Diamond Head area, and with the residential area on the makai side of Diamond Head Road eventually converted to park use.

    3. City Charter - The League of Women Voters of Honolulu supports a good charter for the City and County of Honolulu. Following are the criteria the League uses in determining how good a charter is.

      1. The charter should provide for a strong mayor/council form of government.

      2. The charter should have a council plan which provides a relatively equal mix of at-large and district representation. A council with this type of representation should have 9 or 11 members. The council should serve part-time for 4-year terms.

      3. To provide separation of powers and checks and balances, the charter should retain the general distribution of power between the administration and the council as it is set forth in the present (1958) charter.

      4. The charter should supercede the present (1958) ethics clause with the 1969 ethics ordinance which:

        1. strengthens ethics standards for City and County employees and officers.

        2. established the independent Board of Ethics

        3. includes several administrative directives and rules, including the requirement that City Councilmen, Planning Commissioners, and employees declare and publish their conflicts of interest.

        4. extends to elected officials.

      5. The charter should be a broad, basic document. A city's fundamental law stems from many sources --- the charter, ordinances, state law and judicial opinions, It is neither necessary nor sufficiently flexible to codify all this law within the chatter itself. The organization of the city should be up-to-date and clearly defined in the Administrative Code.

      6. Language of the charter should be simple and provisions clearly understandable.

      7. Charter amendment procedures should:

        1. provide for citizens' mandatory review every 10 years

        2. allow citizens to initiate amendment, without requiring Council approval of the proposed amendment

        3. provide for comprehensive review

        4. be made by City and County, not legislature.

      8. If the Charter Commission decides to include more detail than the League recommends as necessary or desirable:

        1. overlapping functions should be eliminated as much as possible

        2. wherever timetables are specified, they should be realistic

      9. The League would oppose any attempts to define policy that would result in reducing the powers of either the council or the mayor; however the policy-making does need to be clarified for the community, although not necessarily in the charter itself.

        In addition to these criteria, the League recommends that the Charter Commission investigate the desirability and practicality of non-partisan municipal elections.

  3. Non-Recommended Items

    The following items were suggested by League members but are not recommended by Board of Directors as part of the 1973-74 Local program-Agenda:

    1. Transportation and Mass Transit

    2. Neighborhood Commissions

    3. Role of the News Media

    4. Local Budget and Financing including Effects of Revenue Sharing

    5. Gambling

    6. Parks and Recreation Areas

    7. Housing

    8. Hotel Room Tax

    9. Fireworks

    10. Membership Criteria for City Council

    11. Public Health

    12. Garbage

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