A better oath of office

Today is Election Day, and I’d like to thank everyone who made the effort to vote – and all of the candidates who took a risk and had the drive to run for public office.

Every Election Day, there’s a chance to start over, to get right, to make things better. And though our newly elected (or re-elected) mayors and Hawaii legislators won’t assume office in until January, I think that we should start their public service with a better, more meaningful oath of office.

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Hawaii, and that I will faithfully discharge my duties as ….. to best of my ability.”  

This is the oath of office that public officers (including the governor, lieutenant governor, Hawaii legislators, board of education members, and appointed officials) must affirm before taking up their responsibilities, according to Article 16, Section 4 of the Hawaii State Constitution.

It’s a short oath, and I find it a little lacking. Hawaii residents and taxpayers deserve an oath that clearly states what we expect from our public officers, and what they are agreeing to when they ask for our vote or seek an appointment.

This is the revised oath that I propose for Hawaii’s public officers:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Hawaii. I will safeguard the rights and freedoms of Hawaii residents and citizens. I will serve my full term, barring poor health or family illness. I will treat taxpayer money carefully and spend it frugally. I will take responsibility for the actions and decisions I make. I will faithfully discharge my duties as ….. to the best of my ability.”

What does our current oath reveal about what we expect from our public officers? Should we expect more? Could a more specific oath change the mindset of our elected officials?

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Government

Tags: ,

You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

2 Comments on “A better oath of office”

  1. jai mann Says:

    Where are county police supposed to file their oaths? I thought it was the county recorder but they aren’t familiar with what I’m asking for, including a supervisor. I had no trouble getting these in California at the county recorder. I’m hunting through the Hawaii revised codes trying to find where they should be housed. Please respond if you know.


    • Jai, unfortunately I don’t know where to file oaths. In Honolulu, you can call Human Resources at 723-3557 or Police Recruitment at 723-7788. Thank you for reading Better Hawaii and thank you for your service. aloha, Rachelle


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: