- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - The mayor of Maui has ordered an end to direct communication between his staff and members of the Maui County Council.

Mayor Alan Arakawa last week directed all county civil service employees, administration directors and staff to stop communicating verbally or in writing with council members or staff. The employees were instead directed to send communications through the office of the mayor and the managing director’s office.

Arakawa in a letter to county council Chairwoman Gladys Baisa said the steps are “are intended to establish a more formal line of communication between the council and the administration and to enhance intragovernment communication by facilitating the flow of correct information to the council.”

“We want to avoid any future miscommunication,” county communications director Rod Antone told the Maui News (https://bit.ly/1jsnV2H).

Past county projects have been agreed upon by the mayor and council and then stalled during council vetting, Antone said.

“In my mind personally, it (the disagreements) seems to have stemmed from a miscommunication,” Antone said. “I don’t think it matters whose side the miscommunication happens, what matters is taxpayer time and money is wasted on something that could have been cleared up (earlier).”

Baisa said council staff members will meet to discuss the directive.

“There are concerns,” she said.

The council last July responded to a similar order, and it was rescinded, she said.

Council Vice Chairman Robert Carroll on July 16 wrote Arakawa, noting legal and practical concerns if the policy took effect. A day later, Arakawa suspended the directive.

The current memo says direct communication pertaining to county business is not to occur unless authorized by the mayor or the managing director “to avoid transmitting partial or incorrect information.” Employees were ordered to send all letters, memos and other written communications to the mayor’s office, with copies to the managing director, for tracking, distribution and streamlining communication to departments.


Information from: The Maui News, https://www.mauinews.com

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