Maui County Council

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The Maui County Council came into existence in 1969 when the Board of Supervisors' Chairman and Executive Officer Eddie Tam died and brought to climax to a cataclysmic power-struggle resulting in two lawsuits, Act 47 (Session Laws of 1967), a special election and the appointment of two charter commissions. On Tam's death, Manuel Molina became the de facto chairman of the Board. A bipartisan group of supervisors lead by Goro Hokama and Marco Meyer held supervisor meetings that refused to acknowledge Molina's officership.

Meanwhile, State House Speaker Elmer Cravalho passed through Act 47, creating a special election for vacancy of chairman of the Board of Supervisors midterm. Joseph Burgo filed suit against Cravalho and County Clerk Enomoto, but the Supreme Court threw it out in Bulgo v. Enomoto, 50 Haw. 61. A second charter commission's results were submitted to the voters in 1968 and the Maui County Council was established.

The first charter commission referred by some as the "Yagi doctrine" after commissioner Thomas Yagi whose faction on the commission created four year terms for the proposed mayor and council and gave significant powers to the proposed mayor. This charter was rejected by voters. In the second charter commission, terms for council members were set to two years.

Since 1994, the Maui County Council has been composed of nine at-large seats with geographically defined residency areas and were subject to term limits of 5 consecutive full terms. In 1998, voters amended the charter making the election of council members and the mayor non-partisan. This practice was adopted from similar provisions in the Charter of the City and County of Honolulu.

In 1992, William and Jo Ann Carroll sued the county for wrongful discharge accusing Mayor Linda Lingle and others of wilful and intentional wrongful acts in their individual capacities. Because of the limits on the county attorney's representation, Lingle and others were advised to seek separate counsel. Director of Finance Travis Thompson executed contracts for legal services with independent law firms. The County Council had not approved of the contracts. On January 21, 1994, the Maui County Council passed a resolution formally disapproving of the actions. They subsequently filed suit. In Maui County Council v. Thompson, 84 Haw. 105, the Hawai'i Supreme Court held that Maui's county government is a weak-mayor/strong-council system and that the Mayor cannot act without approval of the council except where expressly noted in the charter.

Current Councilmembers

Members who have won elections in 2010:

Previous Councilmembers

External Links

  • Maui Council Members (Maui County)
  • About us (Ohana Coalition Maui)
  • Lafferty, Rob. Maui County Council members organize for new term -- Non-partisan officials follow party affiliations while choosing officers and committees Haleakala Times, Jan. 19, 2005.
  • Kubota, Gary. Nishiki finishes Council run – Environmental issues were vital to him in his 22-year career Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 1-2-04.
  • Kubota, Gary T. Maui Council’s pay is tops -- The salary increases to $51,000 retroactively, giving members the highest pay of any council Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 12-12-04.
  • White, Doug. Hokama to lead Maui Council; Johnson made a martyr for her principles Poinography!, January 4, 2007.
  • Loomis, Ilima. Hokama: Water, housing top priorities Maui News, January 06, 2007.
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