While Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle combs through the tentative deal with HGEA, City Council Budget Chairman Ernie Martin pores over a slew of amendments City Council members proposed to the mayor’s spending plan. All this, while companies that lost in their bid for a lucrative rail contract with the city are putting up a fight. Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

Another Union Pick for HART from Martin

11:34 a.m.
Honolulu City Council member Ernie Martin shared with Civil Beat his nominee for the new rapid transit agency: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ local business manager Damien Kim.

“I nominated Mr. Kim primarily because of his experience in construction and financial management,” Martin said in an email to Civil Beat. “I believe this expertise is essential in ensuring that the rail project is built on time and on budget. Additionally, as an executive officer of the Building Industry Trades Council, Mr. Kim is able to represent the interests of a significant number of trade unions as opposed to one specific trade.”

City council member Ikaika Anderson also opted to nominate a labor representative. Anderson told Civil Beat earlier this week that he nominated Arnold Wong of the Iron Workers union for his union background and legal expertise.

Anderson clarified today that Wong went to law school, but is not a practicing attorney. Each City Council member is submitting a nominee. From those nine names, City Council Chair Nestor Garcia and Vice Chair Breene Harimoto will select the three to serve on the board.

Other council members’ picks:

  • Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo nominated nominated Ivan Lui-Kwan, who was the city’s budget director under former Mayor Jeremy Harris.
  • City Council member Ann Kobayashi nominated Donald Takaki, who she calls a long-time local transportation leader.

  • City Council member Tom Berg nominated Panos Prevedouros, a two-time mayoral candidate and well-known rail critic.

A minority of City Council members — Breene Harimoto, Nestor Garcia, Stanley Chang and Romy Cachola — have thus far declined to make public their nominees.

Carlisle Distant from Kenoi, Carvalho at Breakfast

9:41 a.m.
City and state leaders turned out in force for the annual Hawaii Prayer Breakfast. Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle sat at the head table, but several chairs down from Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi and Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, who delivered a reading together — and without the Honolulu mayor.

Carlisle appeared blindsided by Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s announcement of a tentative deal with HGEA that included provisions Carlisle did not support. Abercrombie only needed one of the four Hawaii mayors to side with him to move ahead. Speaking in partisan terms, Carvalho and Kenoi are Abercrombie’s natural allies.

The distance between the mayors seemed fitting given the latest in union negotiations. Kenoi and Carvalho are Democrats, and Carlisle is decidedly not. (Carlisle calls himself “independent” but espouses fiscal principles that fall into more conservative territory.)

If Maui’s Alan Arakawa was at the breakfast, we didn’t spot him.

Dozens of Local Political Leaders Turn Out for Prayer Breakfast

9:18 a.m.
The annual Hawaii Prayer Breakfast drew dozens of local government leaders to the Hilton Hawaiian Village this morning. We spotted Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi, Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Honolulu Managing Director Doug Chin, Hawaii Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald, Police Chief Louis Kealoha, Board of Education Chairman Don Horner and many others. About 500 people attended the breakfast.

From the City Council, we saw Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo, Breene Harimoto, Ikaika Anderson, Romy Cachola, Ann Kobayashi and Stanley Chang.

We also saw several of Carlisle’s Cabinet members like Community Services Director Sam Moku, Information Technology Director Gordon Bruce and Planning and Permitting Director David Tanoue.

The breakfast included music, a lot of prayer, and keynote remarks by evangelist Krish Dhanam, whose speech was so chock-full of rhymes and one-liners that he came across like a religious stand-up comic.

Some of the points Dhanam made that stood out to Inisde Honolulu:

  • “If you raise a generation based on rights, all you will have is a revolution. If you raise a generation based on responsibility, you will get a revival.”
  • “We have no rights, only blessings.”
  • Quoting John Adams, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

What do you think of our government leaders starting their day this way?

Waimanalo Gulch, H-POWER Both Closed For Weekend

The two major trash facilities on Oahu will be closed this weekend. The city’s Environmental Services spokesman, Markus Owens, told Civil Beat that usable space for opala disposal at Waimanalo Gulch are at capacity. He said workers are still finalizing some repairs following a near-catastrophic failure at the site in January.

Also closed for the weekend is H-POWER. The waste-to-energy facility is down for scheduled maintenance until Monday, April 11.

That’s also the day Owens says Waimanalo Gulch should be re-opened, and ready to receive garbage again.

Previous Editions of Inside Honolulu

April 7, 2011: Hawaii mayors issue joint response on tentative HGEA deal; Was Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle cut out of labor bargaining? U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood chats about Honolulu’s “light rail.”

April 6, 2011: City, state and other Hawaii counties agree to deal with HGEA; Council grows capital spending; City Council member asks for legal fees to fight administration.

April 5, 2011: Council member Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo says her deployment to Afghanistan is unlikely; HART nominees still not official; City cites $1.4 billion for Ansaldo contract.

April 4, 2011: Todd Apo and Don Horner surface as mayor’s possible picks for transit authority; Tom Berg nominates Panos Prevedouros for transit authority; State awaits results on more dengue cases; Losing rail bidders set for debriefs.

April 1, 2011: Gov. Neil Abercrombie taps former City Council candidate; GOP wants Nestor Garcia ethics investigation; Budget Chairman Ernie Martin schedules two special budget meetings.

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