Honolulu’s mayor and City Council members currently are allowed to serve two consecutive four-year terms, while the city prosecutor has no term limits.

That could change come November should voters elect to give mayors and Council members an additional term and limit the prosecutor to just three terms.

The ballot question is one of 20 proposals recently approved by the Honolulu Charter Commission.

(All the proposals are downloadable on the commission’s website.)

Honolulu Hale.
Honolulu Hale. Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

The term-limit proposal is Charter Amendment No. 15.

If a mayor, Council member or prosecutor is in office come Jan. 1, 2017, “their previous consecutive four-year term or terms in office shall count toward the term limit.”

The way I read that is if, say, Kirk Caldwell wins re-election this year he could run again in 2020.

The same would appear to apply to several current City Council occupants.

Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro previously served from 1989-1996 and was elected again in 2010 (in a special election) and in 2012.

If he wins re-election this year, could Kaneshiro run again in 2020, as he would not have used up the “consecutive” quota?

Here’s what the commission says: “Current office holders serving a four-year term (first term) and running for re-election in 2016, if re-elected in 2016 (second term), would be eligible for one more four-year term in 2020 (third term).

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