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November 1986

December 1986

General Membership Meeting
President's Message (Arlene Ellis)
Neighborhood Commission - City Charter Question One (Nancy Marker)
Proposed Ordinance by Initiative
Channel TV 20
League of Women Voters Programs
Current LWV Honolulu Items

Neighborhood Commission - City Charter Question One

The League of Women Voters supports the provision in the proposed City Charter Amendment which would change the selection method of Neighborhood Commission members. The proposed amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot would allow Neighborhood Board members, by plurality vote, to elect three of the nine Commissioners. These three would have served at least two years on a Neighborhood Board. The Mayor would appoint three; and the City Council would appoint three.

Presently, the City Charter provides for the Mayor to appoint four; the City Council to appoint four; and one to be appointed by both the Mayor and the City Council. Commissioners are not required to have any specific qualification or background in neighborhood-level citizen participation.

The Neighborhood Board system was established in 1973 "to increase and assure effective citizen participation in the decisions of government". The LWV formed a position in support of Neighborhood Boards following a study in 1984-85. LWV also supported changes in the system to improve and increase citizen participation, in particular a change in the selection method of Commissioners.

The three elected Commissioners would have knowledge in the role and function of Neighborhood Boards; experience in their operations and understanding of problems they encounter. As the policy-making body for the Neighborhood Board system, the Commission is instrumental in decisions which can impact on the effectiveness of citizen participation. The proposed change would allow Neighborhood Board members to share the responsibility for selection with the Mayor and City Council, and to choose individuals who should represent the interests and needs of NBs.

Therefore, the LWV supports the proposed change in the selection method because it would be more accountable to Neighborhood Boards and more knowledgeable of neighborhood-level citizen participation.

Nancy Marker

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