1. District Voting - Last election, 70 percent of our voters favored district voting. In a show of unadulterated self-interest, our council elected not to include a referendum on the ballot in the last election, thereby virtually assuring themselves of reelection for at least two more terms and accumulation of the associated retirement credits. Non-partisan council elections have unduly restricted representative turnover, and thus, any hope for meaningful change in the county.
2. Candidate Residency Requirements - The Sol Kaho‘ohalahala fiasco of the last two years has clearly demonstrated the weakness in our current requirements. If this final court challenge is decided against him, it will cast doubt on the legality of any issue decided by one vote if the count included him, and hence, may negate a significant amount of the last council’s work! It is imperative that residency must be more clearly defined. It should require the individual to physically reside in the residence claimed for at least 75 percent of the time available. It should be required to be the address at which all mail is received, both state and federal taxes are paid from, and all vehicles are legally registered. The minimum residency required should be two years prior to running for office and during every year of council service. We need to stop the carpetbagging.
3. Council Term Limits - We limit our governor and our mayor to finite term limits, yet we allow renewing term limits after a one-term break for our council members. Why? The arguments mounted supporting gubernatorial and mayoral limits are even more imperative for the council, and they have a far more direct impact on our lives. Set the limit to match the total time allotted to the others—eight years (four council terms) and out for good!
4. Mayoral Office Assistants - The number of assistants to the mayor has gotten out of hand. Charmaine Tavares took it to absurd heights with 19. The salaries are paid for by the county, therefore, the county should put a maximum total budget limit on assistants to more predictably control the budget.
5. Board of Ethics - Sitting government officials should not be allowed to attend meetings or hearings except by subpoena.
6. Cost of Government Commission - The commission should be charged with performing an ongoing study of the cost of government for similar-sized communities across the U.S. and assure that our spending is not out of line by comparison.
7. Liquor Control Commission - Do away with it. It’s become an ongoing joke on Maui and lacks any semblance of respect by the people!
8. Police Commission - The Police Commission should be charged with overseeing all police functions, be charged with holding disciplinary hearings for officers, have the power to order investigations of suspect events, make recommendations for selections of the chief and approve promotion of officer through the ranks.
9. Real Property Tax Review Commission - They should be required to have an ongoing physical appraisal program desired to assess values in every neighborhood at a specified period.
10. Salary Commission - The Salary Commission is completely out of hand and needs to be checked. They should be charged with running an ongoing survey of salaries of similar sized communities across the U.S and precluded from approving any salaries that are out of line without just cause. It’s absolutely absurd that Maui Council is paid significantly more than O‘ahu, when the population ratio approaches 2 to 1.
11. Maui Visitors Bureau - The visitors bureau of every other island in Hawai‘i gets by with only the state provided funding. Maui County should be precluded from providing additional funds.
12. Nonprofit Organizations - Same as item 11. Many of the supported nonprofits assist special interest segments of the community, and that is arguably flat illegal!