Behind closed doors over the course of recent months, Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation board members took a pool of some 150 candidates and picked Daniel Grabauskas as their new CEO.

HART announced Grabauskas as its selection last Friday, giving the public less than a week to learn about Grabauskas’ record before his confirmation hearing on Thursday.

The announcement came a day after Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle‘s State of the City address. In that speech, Carlisle promised “better transparency” on rail and acknowledged that “we in the city are not doing a good job helping you discern what is accurate” about rail.

One sign that HART didn’t get the message: The public is getting just one chance to question Grabauskas and HART released incomplete information about its selection. The opportunity to hear from Grabauskas will come at his confirmation meeting on Thursday at 10 a.m., not an ideal time for those who work on weekdays.

HART board members are deferring to Grabauskas on questions about his record. But Grabauskas is not responding to media inquiries and HART’s PR team says he won’t be available till Thursday.

The message is that public input is not a factor in the board’s decision making. After all, the HART board says it has already reached a “consensus” about hiring Grabauskas.

This is not the first time that Honolulu rail leaders’ sincerity about a commitment to transparency has rung hollow.

Citizens whose schedules allow them to attend the 10 a.m. board of directors meeting Thursday can ask questions about Grabauskas directly. (Make sure to register to testify.)

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