Honolulu Council Member Charles Djou: Professional Noisemaker?

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Charles Djou seems to have become a professional noisemaker within the City Council. I suppose it’s good to have one in the mix to keep everybody on their toes.

But he and Donovan Dela Cruz claiming lack of transparency in the way our Police Commission has elected to choose a chief just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. What, expanding the to-choose list from four to six is lack of transparency? That’s more transparency.


Djou does have an idea with merit when he suggests an alternative way to select the Police Commission. A simple solution would be for the mayor to select three members and the City Council chair to select three.

Where I’d go far afield from what’s been proposed so far is this:

I think the ultimate selection of a chief belongs with the mayor, whose political fortunes rise or fall with the performance of the police department. The commission can send the mayor four names (much like our judicial selection process) and he must pick from them. The chief gets a contract of, say, six years. It’s renewable by whatever mayor’s then in office after a public comment period.

There are many possible variations of this, but doesn’t appointment by the mayor make some sense? The commission gets to vet qualifications, so there won’t be a strictly political pick.

Similarly, it seems to make sense to have our Board of Education vet candidates for Schools Superintendent, pass a list of four to the governor, and the governor makes a pick. The governor’s political fortunes rise or fall on the performance of our schools.

It’s worth discussing.

‘Bob Jones is a MidWeek columnist. Reach him at mailto: BanyanHouse@hula.net’