16 of 20 proposed Oahu charter amendments approved

16 of 20 proposed Oahu charter amendments approved

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu voters approved 16 of the 20 proposed charter amendments on the ballot Tuesday.

Among the measures voters supported, amendments that: give the Honolulu Police Commission more authority, establish a Honolulu Zoo fund, create an Office of Climate Change, and change the focus of the Affordable Housing Fund.

David Rae, chairman of the Honolulu Charter Commission, said the number of amendments approved is significant given the number of questions before voters. He said it appeared voters did their homework and weighed the ballot measures before them.

"When you look at the numbers, it's clear people took the time to understand the questions," he said.

Here are the charter amendments Oahu voters approved:

  • Should the Police Commission have greater authority to suspend or dismiss the chief of police and have additional powers to investigate complaints concerning officer misconduct, and should the chief of police be required to submit a written explanation for his or her disagreement with the Commission?
  • Should the Ethics Commission set the salaries of the Ethics Commission’s executive director and staff attorneys within specified limits?
  • Should the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney control its budget after it is approved by the City Council?
  • Should a unified multi-modal transportation system be created?
  • Should the Affordable Housing Fund be used to develop rental housing for persons earning 60 percent or less of the median household income, provided that the housing remains affordable for at least 60 years?
  • Should departments responsible for the city’s infrastructure needs be required to prepare long-term plans?
  • Should the city use its powers to serve the people in a sustainable and transparent manner and to promote stewardship of natural resources for present and future generations, and should the city create an Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency?
  • Should a new Department of Land Management responsible for the protection, development, and management of city lands be established?
  • Should a Honolulu Zoo Fund be established and funded by a minimum of one-half of one percent of estimated annual real property taxes to pay for Honolulu Zoo expenses to assist the Honolulu Zoo in regaining its accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums?
  • Should an approval process and an advisory commission for Clean Water Natural Lands Fund projects be established in the Charter?
  • Should all boards and commissions, except for the Board of Water Supply, the board for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) and any board or commission mandated by state or federal law, be reviewed periodically to determine whether they should be retained, amended or repealed?
  • 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?
  • Should the deadline to hold a special election to replace the mayor, prosecutor or councilmembers be extended from 60 to 120 days, and should the City Council be able to appoint a temporary member until a special election is held?
  • Should certain city departments be responsible for their own program planning and small infrastructure design and construction projects, and should the powers, functions, and duties of the Department of Environmental Services be updated and expanded to emphasize resource recovery and include the planning, engineering, design, and construction of all of its projects?
  • Should the Fire Commission be expanded from five to seven members, and should the fire chief’s powers, duties and functions be updated to reflect current services?
  • Should the Charter be amended for housekeeping amendments (i) to conform to current functions and operation, (ii) to conform to legal requirements, (iii) to correct an inadvertent omission, and (iv) for clarity?

And here are the four proposed amendments that were voted down:

  • Should the mayor’s executive powers and the City Council’s legislative powers only be subject to exceptions specifically provided in the Charter and should the mayor and the City Council be given concurrent authority to establish funds when no appropriate funds of the same type exist and to propose amendments to the annual executive budget?
  • Should the term limit for the prosecuting attorney, the mayor and the councilmembers be three consecutive four-year terms?
  • Should the mayor have the authority to delegate the signing of documents to certain other city officers?
  • Should the requirement be repealed that no more than five of the City Council Reapportionment Commission’s nine members be from the same political party?

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