City Council members are working on budget amendments as a busy week comes to a close. Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

Abercrombie Picks Former City Council Candidate for East-West Center Board

5:50 p.m.
Gov. Neil Abercrombie tapped failed City Council candidate Rich Turbin for the East-West Center Board of Governors.

The 18-member board includes five members appointed by the governor, five appointed by the U.S. Secretary of State and five elected by the full board. Abercrombie serves as an ex-officio board member.

Turbin ran a cutthroat campaign in the District 4 City Council race against Stanley Chang, who ultimately won by a 5 percent margin.

Hawaii Republican Party Calls for Nestor Garcia Ethics Investigation

4:05 p.m.
The Hawaii Republican Party is calling for an ethics investigation into City Council Chairman Nestor Garcia, after KITV reported last week he has a part-time job as executive director of the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce.

“The Honolulu City Council has long been plagued by ethics troubles and it appears City Council Chair Nestor Garcia is keeping with this sorry pattern,” wrote Jonah Kaauwai, local GOP Chairman, in a press release.

Kaauwai wrote that the Hawaii Republican Party filed a complaint with the ethics commission, saying Garcia failed to comply with ethics rules. Ethics Commissioner Chuck Totto told Civil Beat earlier this week that Garcia did not break the law by failing to disclose his affiliation with the chamber. Technically, Garcia says, he is a consultant and the chamber is one of his clients.

The GOP statement appears to be a partisan jab, first and foremost.

“Until Hawaii breaks the lock of one-party rule, ethical misconduct by local politicians will always sadly be the norm in our community,” Kaauwai wrote.

Read a full story about the recent ethics debate, including Civil Beat’s conversation about the matter with Garcia.

Budget Chair Schedules Two Special Meetings

Honolulu Budget Chairman Ernie Martin is scheduling special budget meetings for April 12 and April 13.

He says he sees more opportunity to “trim the fat,” and told Civil Beat the City Council is working on making “significant cuts” to the mayor’s operating budget for next year.

Read Martin’s full budget preview.

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