Sunday, October 23, 2016

Charter Commission Amendment Guide

This is my personal opinion and does not reflect a Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Position.

Do all the recommended amendments to the County Charter confuse you?  Welcome to the club! If you have an opinion or even a good explanation of a proposed amendment please add your comments. The County's effort to explain these amendments can be found by clicking on the underlined text below.

We welcome your comments and explanations. They are needed because my brief examination of the Guide leaves me even more confused. From OHA elections to Charter Amendments to the Presidential election this is the most important election in your lifetime.

At our recent Neighborhood Board meeting, a citizen testified that he and his friends do not trust our Government and they are not going to vote. Chair Radke made an impassioned response that if you care about our Country you have to vote.

If you care about our democracy and about your personal freedom, VOTE.  More importantly, reject the lies and accusations in this vile campaign, study the issues and the actions of the candidates and know who, why and what you are voting for.

Let's hear what you think of the various Charter amendments. Click on the Comments button at the bottom of this post and share your mana'o.

Bill Sager


Bill Sager said...

The brochure send out by the Charter Commission is seriously incomplete and misleading. For instance, the Charter Amendment 11 explanation states:
"Question: Should an approval process and an advisory commission for Clean
Water Natural Lands Fund projects be established in the Charter?
Present Situation:
An advisory commission and the approval process for expenditures from the Clean
Water and Natural Lands Fund are not established in the Charter.
If Proposal Passes:
This proposal would establish an advisory commission and the review and approval
procedures with respect to the Clean Water Natural Lands Fund. "

Which is all true, but it is seriously incomplete. The text of the amendment reads:

"There shall be established a Clean Water and Natural Lands advisory commission to consider proposals submitted to it by the department of budget and fiscal services and to submit recommendations to the council for approval of expenditures under this section. The commission shall consist of seven members, with three appointed by the mayor, three appointed by the council, and one appointed by a majority vote of the six appointed members. The members shall serve for staggered terms of five years and until their successors have been appointed and qualified."

The explanation fails to tell you that their currently is a Clean Water and Natural Lands advisory commission which is appointed by the Mayor. The have done a good job of allicating fund resources and have developed an excellent guideline for determining what projects are appropriate use of CWNL funds.

What you are really voting on is how the Commission members will be selected and formalizing in law the requirement to have an Advisory Commission.

If you want to know what you are voting on I recommend you download the 2015-2016 Proposed Charter Amendments (.zip) at the bottom of the Answer Question brochure and study the actual text.

Bill Sager said...

This is a comment I received from Hanu by email:

"More info about Honolulu City and County Charter Amendment #13 Regarding Grants in Aid

Here at HANO, we've been receiving a lot of inquiries about Charter Amendment #13, which will be on the November ballot. It states:

"Should the Grants in Aid Fund be the sole source (with certain designated exceptions) for city-funded grants to federal income tax-exempt nonprofit organizations that provide services to economically and/or socially disadvantaged populations or that provide services for the public benefit in the areas of the arts, culture, economic development or the environment?"

In most cases, this excludes other Federal; State; Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts; Office of Economic Development; Clean Water and Natural Lands Commission; and Affordable Housing grants administered by the city, as well as any direct procurement contracts between the city and nonprofit providers.

"Sole source" in this instance preserves the existing processes of determining the total appropriated amount for GIAs in the city budget, as well as the selection and distribution of GIAs to nonprofits. "Sole Source" prevents city officials from going outside of this established GIA process to award money to nonprofits.

The actual proposed charter language may help to understand the intent of this charter amendment. (Brackets indicate deletions to the original charter language and underlines indicate additions)


SECTION 1. Section 9-205, Revised Charter of the City and County of Honolulu 1973 (2000 ed.), as amended ("Grants in Aid Fund -"), is amended by amending subsection 1 to read as follows:
"1. There shall be established a Grants in Aid Fund. [Monies] Except as otherwise provided by federal or state law, monies in the Grants in Aid Fund shall be used by the city as the sole source of city funds, excluding all federal monies, state monies, city matching monies used by the city, city monies for grants under city loan programs, and city Affordable Housing Fund monies under Section 9-204, to award grants in aid to federal income tax exempt non-profit organizations that provide services to economically and/or socially disadvantaged populations or provide services for public benefit in the areas of the arts, culture, economic development or the environment.""