Vote no on all 7 charter amendments

Vote no, no, no to all of the ballot amendments that are intended to take away the last line of democracy from the people, particularly the last three in the center column of the ballot. The Charter Review Commission is seven non-elected people who are selected to make changes to the charter (which is like Kauaiʻs constitution). They do this with almost no oversight, public notice or transparency.

These questions have been intentionally framed to caused the voter to agree with them and not understand that they are surrendering their power. The chair of the Charter Review Commission was selected to suppress the people who wanted pesticide disclosure and control.

The Garden Island article on Oct. 17 was clearly influenced by the chair, who is also a contributor to the paper, and who has guided misleading the information given to the voter. No opposing viewpoints were included. The last six amendments on the ballot all take power from either the citizen or the leaders they elect.

The Charter Review Commission is asking for 10 more years to perpetuate their ability to silently expand government and suppress citizen input. Shame, shame, shame, no, no, no!

This article misses the many hidden “takes” that are inherent in these amendments, like removing the mayor’s authority over the fire department. These amendments are poor choices that take power away from the people.

The Charter Review Commission almost holds contempt for the people. They do not want to be distracted by public input. There is almost no attendance from the general public.

I have been the only person present in more than one meeting and began bringing a Hoike camera in with me to stop the condescension and try to create some layer of public accountability. I have read through all the minutes. Often there is not a quorum. The County Council has far less power than these people.

All of the commissioners are good enough individuals, but they should not have the level of responsibility that is handed to them with no election or accountability to the people. Most voters have never even heard of the Charter Review Commission.

The article was an inadequate report on a very important issue that hurts the general public. In the last 10 years of having a Charter Review Commission, the county government has expanded from changes in the charter to the point that the county budget has been tripled. This is insider expansion of government. The County Council should be the venue for publicly determining how to improve our structure of government.

Vote no.

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Felicia Cowden is a resident of Kilauea.

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