There’s always something interesting going on at Honolulu Hale.

Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

4:44 p.m. Four Council District Plans

The Honolulu Council Reapportionment Commission is meeting today, and has some options to choose from.

Glenn Takahashi, who normally works on elections issues for the City Clerk, presented the Commission with four possible plans for how to redraw the Honolulu City Council districts to account for large population gains in Ewa.

The four plans are summarized as the Kaena Point Plan, the Makapuu Lighthouse Plan, the Dual Starting Point Plan and the Modified Existing District Plan. (A photo of one of the plans sits atop today’s Inside Honolulu.) Commission staff used the plans to show the different issues on the table:

  • Should Mililani and Mililani Mauka be kept together?
  • Should the Leeward community be kept together?
  • Should Makapuu Point serve as a boundary between districts?

The Commission can accomplish some of those goals, but not all of them. Let the debate begin.

4:06 p.m. The Resignation Letter

The mayor’s office has just provided Andrew Jamila‘s resignation letter to Inside Honolulu, with this note:

“As you requested, attached is the resignation letter from Andrew Jamila. Mayor Carlisle has not seen it but he was informed the letter was submitted today. Acting Mayor Doug Chin received the letter this morning.”

Jamila says he doesn’t want to be a distraction or undermine the work of the Honolulu Planning Commission. Read his full letter here:

2:30 p.m. Jamila Resigns From Planning Commission

Andrew Jamila has resigned from his seat on the Honolulu Planning Commission.

Jamila was not present at today’s Commission meeting. Commission Chair Rodney Kim said he’d received the letter of resignation and thanked Jamila for his service. (In a vote later in the meeting, Kim was replaced as chair by Gayle Pingree. Kaiulani Sodaro will be vice chair.)

A month ago, Jamila was fined $650 by the Honolulu Ethics Commission for repeated transgressions, including the failure to disclose a conflict of interest as he voted on matters — even after he received a warning not to do that.

Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle told Civil Beat two weeks ago that he’d spoken to Jamila. Carlisle said removing him from his post remained on the table. Spokeswoman Louise Kim McCoy told Inside Honolulu today that the mayor’s office was aware of Jamila’s intent to resign.

Thoughts on Washington Trip

Mayor Peter Carlisle is in Washington D.C. this week with Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board Chair Carrie Okinaga and Interim Executive Director Toru Hamayasu. Two key things to keep in mind:

  • The Honolulu officials are going to meet with the congressional delegation and Federal Transit Administration chief Peter Rogoff. The state’s reps were just here on recess, and Sen. Daniel K. Inouye just spoke to the HART Board in Kapolei on Aug. 25. Rogoff and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood were also in Honolulu recently — back in March, they gave Honolulu’s rail project their full support.

But one dramatic change since then is that HART now exists in reality and not just on paper. Okinaga undoubtedly sat in on meetings with the federal officials in March, but as city Corporation Counsel, she likely didn’t have a seat at the table — literally or figuratively. She’s now in charge of the HART Board and is in D.C. to express her support for the project. Remember, Carlisle also took a trip to D.C. shortly after taking office, at least in part to show the feds that the new boss was the same as the old boss.

Okinaga’s new role requires her to be the face of rail, but she seems to be more comfortable as a behind-the-scenes advisor. For example, she has declined requests from the only Hawaii-focused reporter in the nation’s capital — Adrienne LaFrance of DC808 — to meet this week and talk about the status of the project. City officials say the travelers are too busy.

  • The city wants to make sure it hits internal timelines for the project. The Full Funding Grant Agreement is the ultimate goal — that will essentially be a promise from the federal government that $1.55 billion in New Starts funding will be coming this way. But between now and then, there’s the important step of entering into “final design.”

When the city produced its most recent financial planning documents, that was part of an application to start the final design stage. Much like the “preliminary engineering” stage carried with it the right to do some pre-construction work, the final design step is an important one for the project.

Not Following Rules

Another story is up today based on Mayor Peter Carlisle‘s visit to Civil Beat headquarters last week. He says that ORI Anuenue Hale didn’t follow some rules, leading to the potential that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development might recoup $8 million in federal grant money from the city.

He also said ORI’s founder has been reluctant to acknowledge her company’s shortcomings. In an interview with Civil Beat last month, she said HUD’s local official discriminated against her because she’s a Chinese woman.

Read the full story here.

Where’s Carlisle?

Mayor Peter Carlisle has no local public events today or for the rest of this week. He’ll be in Washington D.C. with Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Board Chair Carrie Okinaga and Interim Executive Director Toru Hamayasu. Read DC808 for all things Washington, including updates on the Honolulu officials’ visits with the congressional delegation and the Federal Transit Administration.

Read Previous Editions of Inside Honolulu

September 6: Thursday Night In Waianae; Council Public Hearing Notice; Mayor On Homelessness; Jobs Claim Half True; Where’s Carlisle?

September 2: Peter, Toru, Carrie All Washington-Bound; Carlisle’s Public Sked; HART at First Hawaiian; Carlisle at Civil Beat; Ansaldo: We Complied With Licensing Requirement; Long Weekend; Civil Beat’s ‘Hatchet Job’; Where’s Carlisle?

September 1: PIG Picks Bunda; Carlisle’s Rail Pep Talk; Semi-Autonomous, But Connected; All Sewage Ideas Welcome; Defining ‘Undercover’; Today’s Meetings; Where’s Carlisle?

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