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MINUTES

ETHICS COMMISSION

CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU

 

Date and Place:            April 18, 2006

                                    Standard Financial Plaza

                                    Conference Room, Suite 211

 

Present:                        Lex R. Smith

Raymond H. Fujii

                                    Susan S. Heitzman

                                    Matthew H. Kobayashi

                                    Wayne T. Hikida

                                    Cynthia M. Bond

                                    Charles W. Totto, Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC)

Stenographer:               Norm Fisher

I.          CALL TO ORDER

             The 395th meeting of the Ethics Commission (Commission or EC) was called to order at 11:37 a.m. by the Chair.

II.                 APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES OF THE OPEN SESSION OF THE
            MARCH 14, 2006 OPEN MEETING

           The minutes of the open meeting of March 14, 2006, were unanimously approved.

III.       OLD BUSINESS

            A.        Confirming the date and time of the May 16, 2006 meeting and setting the date and time for 
                        the June, 2006 meeting

            The EC confirmed the May 16, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. meeting, and set the date and time for the June 27, 2006 at 11:30 a.m. meeting in the Standard Financial Plaza Conference Room, Suite 211.

 

IV.       NEW BUSINESS

            A.         Administrative news 

            The Executive Director and Legal Counsel (EDLC) reported that in order to better communicate with city personnel, staff will start including information, at least contact information, in the Department of Human Resources newsletter.  The newsletter is sent to all 9,000 officers and employees 2 or 3 times each year.  The EDLC stated that if preparing the articles is not too time consuming and printing is not too expensive, the EC might be able to start an ethics newsletter.

 

             The EDLC reported that staff is discussing whether the city would be well served by a hotline to allow anonymous tips on ethics violations, fraud, abuse, waste, etc.  The EDLC stated that because it encompasses many different issues and, as a result, city departments, staff will be contacting the Departments of Budget and Fiscal Services, Corporation Counsel and Human Resources to determine their interest in the program.

 

              The Commissioners stated that in the meantime staff should come up with a policy on how to act on anonymous complaints. 

   B.               Report and recommendation regarding Guidelines for Gifts to the City

   The EDLC reported the Guidelines have been approved by the Managing Director, and have been transmitted to the work force through the agencies.

 

   The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to go to the executive session.

 

V.            EXECUTIVE SESSION SUMMARY

               A.        Approval of the minutes of the executive session of the March 14, 2006 meeting

   The minutes of the executive session of March 14, 2006 were unanimously approved.

 

   B.        Report and recommendation regarding whether a former city employee would violate RCH
  Section 11-102(b) (prohibition against disclosing confidential information) by disclosing
  confidential information obtained in the course of employment; EC No. 05-159(w)

 

            The EDLC reported that this matter was briefed and discussed at last month's meeting, and continued to the March 14 meeting for further discussion and decision-making.   During the March meeting, the EC requested staff to prepare another draft advisory opinion.

 

            After reviewing the second draft advisory opinion, Chair Smith proposed that the advisory opinion be revised. 

 

            The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adopt the advisory opinion as amended by Chair Smith.

 

C.        Report and recommendation regarding certain city officers' failure to file their financial disclosure statements

 

The EDLC reported that pursuant to the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, the staff, by memorandum, provided the City Council with the names of all officers and employees who were delinquent 10 days or more in submitting their financial disclosure forms, due January 31, 2006.

 

D.        Request for salary increase for the EDLC

 

            The EDLC reported that by Directive No. 2005-09, Mayor Hannemann increased the salaries of the city's excluded managerial employees to match the 3.5% increase that was awarded to collective bargaining employees effective October 1, 2005.  The EDLC stated that he is requesting the same increase in salary, retroactive to October 1, 2005. 

 

            Vice Chair Fujii suggested the EDLC's salary be increased to $85,458.  He recommended this based on the quality of the EDLC's work, the amounts paid to the administrators at the Hawaii State Ethics Commission and Campaign Spending Commission, his experience at Chair of the Hawaii State Salary Commission, and the fact that this would place the EDLC near the middle of the EM-7 range.

 

            Upon discussion, the EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to raise the EDLC's annual pay to $85,458 and that the EDLC shall report on the impact of the increase on operations for Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007. 

 

            The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to return to the open session.

 

VI.        ADJOURNMENT

 

            The EC moved, seconded, and unanimously carried to adjourn the meeting.  The meeting was adjourned at 12:30 p.m.

 

Last Reviewed: Friday, June 23, 2006