September 1991 Home   Newsletters

October 1991

November 1991

Press Release / Press Conference -- September 19, 1991
Letter to the Editor - Star Bulletin - 10/16/91 (Arlene Ellis)
Traffic Alternatives Video Showing
Letter from the Editor - Star Bulletin - 9/18/91 (John E. Simonds)
Testimony at City Council Public Hearing on Bill 112
Leasehold Conversion Study
Urgent! Help Needed for Vote Count
Pro-Choice Rally
Charter Review Consensus

Charter Review Consensus

The Honolulu League reached Consensus on six of the seven issues presented at the breakfast meeting held at the Elks Club on September 28. We were divided on the issue of not allowing Charter Amendment proposals on the ballot in the election preceding the convening of the Charter Commission every ten years.

Consensus was reached on the issue of changing the voting requirement for the adoption of Charter Amendments with hardly any discussion. Members agreed that the voting requirement for the adoption of Charter Amendments should not be changed. Consensus on the other five issues was reached only after spirited discussion, debate and some adjustments.

The Honolulu Board accepted the report on the Consensus results at its October 15 meeting. The following positions will be incorporated into League's official position on local government.


  1. Electoral System

    "The electoral system adopted should ensure fair and equitable representation for all citizens and provide for the divergent needs and interests of the various groups within the county while promoting the election of a council which will keep county-wide interests and concerns foremost on its agenda. We believe that a small visible council functions most effectively and can more readily be held accountable for its actions."

    (A mixed single-member and at-large district systems is preferred, with the singe-member district seats outnumbering the at-large seats. League would support a small increase in the size of the council from the present nine, especially if at-large seats were to be added.)

  2. Limiting Terms

    "There should be no limit on terms for council members. there should be a two-consecutive-term limit for the mayor's position. He/she may run again for that office after vacating it for one term."

  3. Abstention from Voting for Council Members

    "If a council member faces a substantial conflict of interest in a matter before the council, said members should be free to abstain from voting. Any member who has conflict on proposed legislation should, in addition to a written disclosure filed with the Council Chair and the City Clerk's office, make an oral disclosure on the Floor before entering the discussion on the proposed legislation, and once again before the voting begins, this time announcing his/her decision to abstain or to exercise his vote with an appropriate explanation."

    Note. While there was complete agreement on written and oral disclosure, there were 4 objections to allowing council members to abstain from voting.

  4. Council Approval of Mayoral Appointments of Department Heads

    Retain present position, but add an explanation to clarify position.

    "The Mayor shall appoint all department heads and retain ultimate responsibility for actions taken by any member of the administration."

    (This position does not preclude requirement for council approval of such appointments.)

  5. Voting Requirement for Charter Amendments

    "The adoption of an amendment or revision of the Charter shall require approval by a majority of the voters voting thereon."

  6. Public Education and Publicity on Proposed Charter Amendments The present League position on Charter Amendment reads:

"Amendment procedures specified in the Charter should provide for comprehensive and mandatory review by citizens every 10 years. Citizens should be permitted to initiate amendments without Council approval of the proposed amendments."

To this we will add:

"The City shall be required to provide publicity and information for charter amendments such as sending a notice of the proposals with the pros and cons listed to all households containing at least one registered voter 15 days before the election."

(This should include the intent of each proposal, the proposed amendments as they will appear on the ballot, and an explanation of the proposed amendments where the language on the ballot may not be clear to the average voter.)

September 1991 Home   Newsletters November 1991