2. HAWAI`I: Council Meeting Locations
QUESTION: Shall the Charter of the County of Hawai`i be amended to require that the Hawai`i County Council hold an equal number of its regularly scheduled meetings in East Hawai`i and West Hawai`i?To see the proposed language changes and Fiscal Impact Statements prepared by the County of Hawai`i Department of Finance, go to https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/Home/Components/News/News/2444/ .CHARTER COMMISSION SUMMARY: This proposal was brought forward to acknowledge and systematize the council's practice of holding an equal number of regularly scheduled meetings in East Hawai`i and West Hawai`i. Current charter language requires only quarterly meetings in the Kona judicial districts. The commission finds that establishing this basic equivalence of council meeting locations between East Hawai`i and West Hawai`i is in the best interests of county governance.FISCAL IMPACT: None. Council meetings, prior to COVID-19, were already being held in this manner. The budget already contains these costs so there would not be any additional costs or impact on the budget.WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS: A "YES" vote means that you are IN FAVOR of the amendment and the Charter of the County of Hawai`i will be changed as proposed. A "NO" vote means that you are against the amendment and the Charter of the County of Hawai`i will not be changed as proposed.ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR: -This proposal aligns the charter with current practice. -Meeting equivalency gives the public greater opportunity for in-person presence, both in monitoring council action and presenting testimony. -Meeting equivalency results in less travel and overnighting for council members.ARGUMENTS AGAINST: -Technology already enables the public to view council meetings and to offer testimony from multiple island sites. -Department heads should not have to transport records and staff from their offices at the county seat, taking time from their administration. -Current language allows the council flexibility to schedule meetings to meet emergencies and changing conditions.
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