Enact the Managing Director Charter Amendment

Delay tactics stops charter amendment for a professional managing director. . Another reason why the “old boy” network must end and be replaced with a Pono network. Sugimura who receives big money offshore showed why these council members must go.

“I don’t think that you should be in a rush to change something so significant,” Sugimura said. “I don’t think even if we had one more meeting we would be able to vet this out completely as it needs to be.”

On Tuesday morning, members took several hours going through possible changes to the proposed amendment. Members struggled with timelines and how the next mayoral administration, to be elected in November, would be able to deal with reorganization of the executive branch should the amendment be approved by voters.

Council Member Kelly King, the author of the proposed charter amendment, was disappointed at how the matter was handled in committee. She told members that the managing director amendment was at the end of the committee’s agenda for several meetings and was not able to be discussed.

It was only on Monday that the proposal was fully reviewed by the committee, she added. The committee received the proposed amendment on April 30 so members had time to review it, even prior to the meetings, King said.

“We can’t wait any longer,” she said. “We are being mismanaged right now.”

After the meeting, King said she doesn’t expect to try and pull the amendment out of committee for a full council review. She felt she wouldn’t have the votes.

King was disappointed that the committee did not want to at least try and put the amendment on the ballot to let voters decide. She said that amendments often are not dissected and details not entirely worked out when they are put on the ballot. She believes the voters trust the council to work on the details if they OK a measure.

King’s amendment would have set up a county managing director hired by the council and the mayor through a recruitment and preliminary vetting process involving the mayor, council chairperson and a three-member citizen group. The managing director would function as the county’s chief operating officer with the mayor as the chief executive officer.

Mark Hyde, a proponent of the proposed amendment, said after meeting that a “core County Council responsibility is to receive and debate charter change proposals in time for inclusion on the November ballot, with the electorate determining the outcome.”

He said the committee “failed in that duty.” There will be no amendment to bring professional management to Maui County operations “in place of the current highly political structure adopted 50 years ago.”

Hyde said leaving the amendment to the Charter Commission is not the answer. The last commission tabled discussion of a similar proposal after a member said they didn’t have the time or resources to examine it.

“In reality, there isn’t a willing forum for discussion of serious charter change issues, particularly where political interests are involved,” Hyde said.