Honolulu City Council Chairs Introduce Charter Amendment, Bill Prohibiting Outside Employment for Councilmembers

Council Chair Tommy Waters (D-4) and Vice Chair Esther Kiaʻāina (D-3) introduced a charter amendment and bill to ensure the undivided attention and commitment of City Councilmembers as public servants.

Resolution 23-109 and Bill 33 (2023) seek to prohibit Councilmembers from holding outside employment while in public office.

“As elected officials, it is our duty to prioritize the needs of the community above outside interests. Councilmembers should not have divided interests, and these measures are intended to increase public trust by eliminating outside employment,” said Chair Waters.

“In the past, there have been a number of ethical violations, and these measures are intended to address that. I remain committed to the people of Oahu, ensuring that we remain fully dedicated to the kuleana entrusted to us.”

According to amendment and bill, Councilmembers will be required to put their full attention, time and energy to their public service duties.

“Local families deserve our dedication and focus as we navigate the critical issues facing our community. By introducing these measures, we are putting forth proposals to reaffirm our commitment to serving the public with transparency, accountability, and integrity,” said Vice Chair Kiaʻāina.

“I want to hear from the community whether they think prohibiting outside employment will help reinforce the integrity of our decision-making processes and promote public trust in our government.”

The public are encouraged to testify on this issue at the June 7th council meeting.

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