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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       July 9, 2005

Release M-46





            TOKYO -- Mayor Mufi Hannemann said that he is “very disappointed” with the prospect that  House Bill 1309, the county option excise tax  for mass transit,  might not become law.


“I am cutting my trip short and heading home to continue to try to salvage this,” said Hannemann, who arrived in Japan Saturday afternoon on a trip to encourage travel to Honolulu for the City’s centennial.


“I am especially disappointed because Governor Lingle’s staff and mine held a very promising  meeting on Friday to find a way for the City to collect the transit excise tax, as the governor wants, based on a meeting I had with her Thursday evening.”


“We’re at a critical stage where, without mass transit, we cannot expect Ewa, Leeward and Central Oahu to continue to absorb future growth. The existing state highway system is already at or near its limits. If a resolution is not found to enact House Bill 1309, we will have lost the chance to develop mass transit on Oahu in our lifetime,” the mayor said.


“Let’s not lose sight of the goal – finding a solution to our traffic mess,” said Hannemann, who is now returning to Honolulu Sunday morning.




            Bill Brennan, 228-1526

            Mark Matsunaga, 352-1528

Monday, July 11, 2005

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