Provided by the Landsberg Law OfficeOn November 8th the Nation will elect its next President. Four years ago CNN called Hawaii for the democrats BEFORE THE POLLS OPENED – they did not do that for any other state. Whether you vote for Clinton or Trump or another candidate, where your votes truly count are at the bottom of the ticket, in local elections.
While nationwide elections are important, it is your local County Councilman that probably has the most direct impact on your life. Do you need better trash pick up? Is there a park that needs a playground? Should police officers wear body cameras or not? These are all issues decided by County Council members. These issues affect your life directly.
And governing County Council is the Maui County Charter.
The Council CANNOT extend its power outside the Charter, without the citizens of Maui voting to change the Charter.
The Charter is the citizens placing a limitation on the County Council, telling them what they cannot do — it is also the citizens telling the Council what they expect, and what is allowed.
The guide you’re holding in your hand is the first of its kind for MAUIWatch. In the few years MAUIWatch has grown into a voice of the community and our ohana. Our goal with this guide, is to let you know, when you go into that voting booth, in plain language, what you’re actually voting for.
HERE is the 2016 MAUIWatch County Charter voting guide:
Question 1. Shall Sections 11-4 and 11-5 of the Charter be amended to correct clerical errors and to provide consistency within the Charter by allowing an individual to withdraw their signature from a supplemental petition?
This amendment is all about the initiative process. The initiative process is the way that the County Council HAS TO listen to the people. Something that the citizens want, but the Council does not want to support? The initiative process allows the citizens to bypass the Council, and pass their own laws that are binding on the Council. This is done by collecting a minimum number of signatures and submitting them through a process, in order to get the initiative on a ballot. True democracy in action.
This amendment is about allowing people who have signed a petition for an initiative to remove their signatures. Let me rephrase, this amendment is about allowing people who have signed a supplemental petition to withdraw their signatures so that the initiative process may fail.
First signatures are filed, if there are not enough (or some signatures are disqualified), supplemental signatures may be accepted. This amendment puts a time limit on when those supplemental signatures may be withdrawn.
We live in a place where our word still means something. Where we don’t need to sign our name to stand by our word. Let’s encourage our extended island ohana to only sign documents when they mean it. Don’t sign these initiative petitions, unless you’ve investigated and you mean it. Giving a “grace period” where people can withdraw their names only makes more work for everybody.
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