Mike Formby, the former director of the Honolulu Department of Transportation Services, is on track to serve as an interim Honolulu City Council member representing southeast Oahu.
A City Council committee passed a resolution Monday recommending Formby’s selection. The unanimous vote came after two motions to appoint other nominees failed.
The full City Council plans to vote on Formby’s appointment Tuesday.
Formby was also the chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. David Ige in the primary last year. Formby also is a former member of the board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation, which oversees the city’s beleaguered rail project.
He said Monday that if he is appointed Tuesday, he plans to spend the next two months attending neighborhood board meetings and listening to the concerns of East Honolulu residents.
“Obviously I’m honored. I wasn’t anticipating this opportunity,” he said, adding that his work for Hanabusa ended Jan. 2.
The appointment would give Formby a seat for the beginning of budget discussions that generally wrap up in late spring or early summer. He said he wants to make sure that the city is budgeting properly for the Ala Wai Canal flood mitigation project and will apply his experience from serving on the rail board.
“We learned from rail, we learned that once columns start going up it’s a little late to start planning,” he said.
Other than that, Formby said he plans to take his cues from residents when it comes to voting on issues like monster homes, vacation rentals and traffic congestion.
Formby said he has no plans currently to bring in his own staff to replace people who have been working for Trevor Ozawa.
The East Honolulu seat opened up after the Hawaii Supreme Court invalidated the November election in which the incumbent Ozawa narrowly outpolled challenger Tommy Waters. A special election between the two is scheduled April 13.
A total of 19 people were nominated to serve in the interim post, Hawaii News Now reported Saturday. The failed motions that preceded the Formby vote Monday called for the appointments of Kahi Pacarro and Richard Turbin.
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