The answer to “will he or won’t he” took a new turn Tuesday when Ernie Martin pulled papers to run for mayor of Honolulu.

The chair of the City Council has until June 7 to officially file, but he certainly seems to be taking the idea very seriously.

Martin has said he thinks he would make a good mayor.

Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin.
Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin. Cory Lum/CIvil Beat

Just yesterday, he sent out an email blast saying he would hold a telephone town hall that very evening, explaining:

The public’s trust in the $6.8 billion rail transit project is eroding, fast. In the last few weeks, I’ve heard one familiar refrain: That the Mayor promised to build rail on time and on budget. Now, it is clear that neither will be true. …

Similarly, our homeless crisis is out of hand.  Despite the City Council’s dedicating more than $139 million to combat homelessness and develop affordable housing solutions, the situation in Honolulu has gotten worse. …

That is unacceptable. And I am going to change that.

Martin then promises, “You can look for some action from me in the coming weeks.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Kirk Caldwell opened his re-election headquarters over the weekend and said rail will be the No. 1 issue in the campaign.

The city’s audit of the project has, shall we say, stirred things up a bit.


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