In politics, audacity is not a characteristic that many politicians are known for, especially during an election year. The award for the most audacious politician in Hawaii for the year 2018, certainly must go to Kauai Councilmember Ross Kagawa.
Councilmember Kagawa, who is scheduled to be “termed out” in the year 2020, introduced a Charter Amendment Resolution that if approved by Kauai voters on November 6th, will repeal Kauai Council term limits, effective in 2020.
What makes this move to remove term limits especially bold and over-the-top audacious is the fact that voters overwhelmingly approved putting term limits in place in 2006 with voting 13,226 in favor and 6,139 in opposition. For a politician to propose something so antithetical to the will of the voters, during an election year, that will potentially directly and personally benefit that politician certainly raises the audacity bar for all.
Kauai Councilmembers are currently limited to serving 4 consecutive 2 year terms (8 consecutive years), and then must sit out at least one term prior to running for election to the Council again. If passed by the voters, the “Kagawa Amendment” will repeal this provision and allow councilmembers to serve an unlimited number of consecutive terms.
The “Kagawa Amendment” was passed by a 5 to 2 vote in the Council and is truly a testament to the power and influence, and the contumelious nature of the Councilmember.
We will know within the next 48 hours whether his impudence will be rewarded by the voters, or not. Those who support keeping term limits in place will vote NO. Those who favor allowing Councilmembers to serve life-time terms, will vote YES.