President's Message (Evelyn Bender)
Access to Legislative Information
There is No Excuse for Inaction
Reflections on Home Rule (Jana Chang)
Help the Kauai League
Bylaw Changes Proposed
League on the Light Side
Corporate America Turns on to the Environment
Critic Confuses Function of League of Women Voters
Neighbor Island News - Hawaii County (Dorothy Doudna)
Contributions are Appreciated
Reflections on Home Rule
Mayor Frank Fasi, in his article "Historical Perspectives of Home Rule in Hawaii," raises the question: "What level of government by design is the most responsive and accountable to the electorate?" This question best captures the spirit of the League's home rule study.
The question, as we have discovered, is not easily answered. City and county officials have cited numerous cases where the state has taken over what they believe are city responsibilities. A few of the examples cited include the Waikiki Convention Center, the Waterfront, and the Kakaako Development. The state and city have waged fierce battles over such issues as land use, housing, taxation, and equitable distribution of monies.
Issues such as these have prompted the League to ask "Who is supposed to be in charge?" Hence, we initiated the home rule study. In searching for a "level of government," either state or county, that "is the most responsive and accountable," we have arrived at another question. Is there a level, state or county, that will invariably govern more effectively?
Perhaps the government that governs best is the government that governs together. In this eraof "shared decision making" is it not more reasonable and realistic, as citizens, to expect our government to work together for our benefit rather than to fight over which level can serve us better?