Officials at the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation like to tout transparency, but City Councilman Trevor Ozawa thinks they can do more.

This week Ozawa introduced a resolution to encourage HART to televise its public meetings through Olelo Community Media or other public access channels. The meetings could also be streamed online.

City Councilman Trevor Ozawa listens to testimony on Malaekahana.  5 march 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Honolulu City Council Trevor Ozawa wants HART to be more transparent.

Cory Lum/Civil Beat

He wants those meetings on air so that citizens can track decisions being made on the city’s $6 billion rail project, which is underfunded and over-budget.

As Resolution 15-80 states: “… the City Council finds that the size, expense and importance of the Honolulu Rail Transit project merits the televising of HART Board and committee meetings so that government transparency can be achieved and public trust in the project can be gained by informing Honolulu residents of the issues, discussions and plans surrounding the project …”

Adding to the significance is the fact that Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and HART officials, including Executive Director and CEO Dan Grabauskas, are doing their best to lobby state lawmakers to extend a half-percent surcharge on the general excise tax to pay for rail.

Right now the tax is expected to expire in 2022. But Caldwell and Grabauskas are pushing for an extension of at least 25 years.

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