The City Charter is the governing document for the City & County of Honolulu. The Charter determines the basic structure of the city's departments and agencies, legislative and budget processes, elections, and many other foundations of city government. More simply, the Charter can be thought of as the city's "constitution."
Article XV of the Charter requires periodic review of the charter by an appointed commission. This process helps to ensure that the charter is reviewed and updated to reflect the needs of our changing city.
In the November 2004 General Election, the voters of Honolulu passed an amendment to the Charter that called for the appointment of a Charter Commission in 2004 and every ten years thereafter. The current Charter Commission was appointed as a result. The Commission is empowered to propose amendments to the existing charter or to create a draft of a revised charter.
The Charter Commission consists of thirteen volunteer members - six appointed by the Mayor, six appointed by the City Council, and one appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Council. The Commission holds public meetings regularly and is assisted by a small staff. The Commission has adopted Rules to govern their activities and a Calendar to guide the upcoming process.
After an extensive review process, the Charter Commission placed twelve questions on the November 2006 General Election ballot. Eight amendments were passed by the voters. Please return to the homepage for 2006 election results and the Commission's Final Report.
The Charter Commission completed its work in December 2006. Under current Charter provisions, the next commission will be convened in 2014.
Where to Find the City Charter
Copies of the Charter are available to read or borrow at many Hawaii State Public Libraries. The Municipal Library at 558 S. King Street also has copies to read, borrow, or purchase.
The Charter is also online; however, please note that the online version does not yet reflect amendments adopted in 2004.