Wednesday, November 3, 2004


Proposal on civil service
is sole election casualty

The battlefront in Iraq cast a shadow in the voting booth as Oahu voters approved a measure that allows the City Council to replace a member deployed on active military duty.

Election 2004


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That question drew the largest affirmative response -- 65 percent as of the third printout -- as voters faced four proposed changes to the Honolulu City Charter.

Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said recent deployment of local National Guard members probably affected the strong response to the amendment, which allows a temporary replacement to be named for a member who is called to active duty for more than 180 days.

"People want to assure that they continue to be represented," he said. Thousands of Oahu residents left their ballots blank on the charter issues, which led to passage by low numbers.

Approval from 49.4 percent of voters was enough to set in motion the convening of a Charter Commission to consider revamping the basic legal document of the municipal government. About 29 percent were against it, and 21.3 percent left the ballot blank.

A 47.5 percent vote sank a proposal to give civil-service status to Neighborhood Commission staffers now appointed by the mayor. And 62.8 percent decided that at least five of the nine appointees to the Neighborhood Commission should have served on one of the 32 neighborhood boards.

The question on civil service status might have failed "because we didn't do a good job of explaining," Dela Cruz said. "We wanted to reduce patronage positions. People may have seen it as adding to government."

State Elections Office


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