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MEASURE TO REPEAL HONOLULU AUTHORITY FOR RAPID TRANSPORTATION TO GET A HEARING ON MARCH 21 AT 10:00 A.M.
Councilman Tom Berg wants the island of Oahu to work together and either advance the rail project or scrap it. "We are so deeply divided on this rail project that by moving forward on it without another vote to solidify its viability, will rob us of our chances to heal our differences and promote a greater degree of cohesion,” stated Berg adding, “This is no way for a city to conduct business- by plowing ahead with roughly half of its citizenry objecting to the project. What we need to do is to advance a traffic solution that a vast majority of us can agree on, and that forum has never been adequately put before the voters.”
The voters approved of creating the semi-autonomous government entity known as the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) based upon the premise that elected officials need to stay out of the rail endeavor from herein and would thus take the “politics” out of rail.
“The backlash to creating HART is that no one within HART itself can be held accountable to the people and thus far, what we have witnessed is a runaway train that has no brakes on it. The people have no recourse available to them to scrutinize what HART does and cannot hold HART accountable for its actions when at the ballot box. By repealing HART, the rail endeavor would have to cater to directives proposed by the elective body and in return, the people could support or object to those decisions when it comes election time,” stated Berg.
“Since the City Council voted down my ballot initiative to put steel wheels on steel rails before the voters this November and afford the public with an opportunity to stop it, the repealing of HART may be the last chance we have to get heard properly and show the mayor and council, we need to regroup,” stated Berg.
Berg added that, “By repealing HART, it would not kill the rail project. Instead, it would allow a mayor who is opposed to rail, to actually withhold funding for the rail project, and in essence, providing the mayor with the tools to kill it. If the voters elect a mayoral candidate that is against proceeding with this rail project, the mayor will be helpless stopping it unless he or she controls the purse strings. By removing HART, the mayor will then hold those purse strings. As it stands, HART is immune to both the mayor and the public at-large to intervene in its affairs and keep the train from leaving the station. A vote to repeal HART puts the ball back into the public’s domain with options to consider and having options cannot be all that bad.”
For RESOLUTION 12-59 to pass, it will need a two-thirds vote in the affirmative for each of the three readings in order to be placed on the general election ballot this November. "Let the people decide to amend the City Charter and dissolve HART if they wish. This is the right thing to do at this stage,” stated Berg. The first reading will take place at Honolulu Hale on March 21.
TO READ THE TEXT OF THE RESOLUTION THAT INCLUDES THE JUSTIFICATION AND LISTS THE REASONS WHY HART NEEDS TO BE REPEALED CLICK HERE.