7. HAWAI`I: Discipline of Council members
QUESTION: Shall the Charter of the County of Hawai`i be amended to allow the County Council to discipline its members through temporary suspension without pay for disorderly or contemptuous behavior or failure to attend three or more council meetings without being excused by the Chair of the County Council?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 would add an option for the council to police its members through temporary suspension without pay for disorderly or contemptuous behavior or failure to attend three or more regularly scheduled Council meetings without being excused by the council chair. The commission finds that the council needs a limited mechanism that assists with the established methods of legislating.FISCAL IMPACT: Minimal. If this section is utilized, expenditures would be reduced by $269 per day for Council members and $296 per day for the Council Chair, based on current salaries set by the Salary Commission.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:-Attending meetings and behaving respectfully are ways to ensure that council members live up to the responsibilities of the office, and the business of the council can proceed without interruptions.-Council members are paid by taxpayers to represent them by attending meetings.-This provision does not remove a council member from office. Sanctioning a council member will require an affirmative vote at a public hearing by three-fourths of council members, reducing the possibility that a disciplinary action will be perceived as unfair.-Increasing accountability will boost public confidence in the council.ARGUMENTS AGAINST:-Removing a council member by court action or recall petition is already provided for in the charter.-Removing a council member is a decision that should be made by voters by not reelecting him or her.-Adding this amendment has the appearance of a response to one particular person.
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