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As predictable as the rise of a hot-air balloon, City Councilman Charles Djou is once again offering the news media his tired repertoire of caustic sound bites and would-be witticisms about another proposed City budget.


“As usual, we will carry on the City’s important work despite the contrarian Councilman’s shallow posturing, and we will continue to serve his East Oahu constituents well,” Mayor Mufi Hannemann said.


It should be noted that Mayor Hannemann has not requested any increases in taxes or fees to support his proposed City operating budget for fiscal year 2008-09, in marked contrast to Djou’s recent public predictions.


This fiscal restraint is remarkable, given that the City’s fixed costs have increased for such necessities as contractual pay raises, and retirement and health system contributions.


It should also be noted that Councilman Djou has voted against the final version of every annual City operating budget and construction budget since 2004.


Because the majority of Djou’s council colleagues are more realistic and responsible, many important City projects and services continue to move forward in the district Djou “represents.”


Recent City spending in Council District Four totaling more than $45 million includes:

·       $14 million for new underground force main sewer pipe installed below Kalanianaole Highway to replace unsightly emergency bypass pipe;

·       $30 million to replace the Beach Walk force main and related work along Ala Wai Boulevard in Waikiki;

·       $822,700 for emergency repairs to the Kamiloiki Channel;

·       $541,815 for emergency repairs to the Hahaione Valley Drainage Channel;

·       $460,000 for the Koko Head Archery Range;

·       Important road rehabilitation projects on King Street, Hind Drive, Luinakoa Street, Kirkwood Place and Kupaua Place.


Spending for ongoing construction projects in Council District Four totaling more than $14 million includes:

·       $6.67 million for road resurfacing of Kilauea Avenue in Kahala;

·       $2.7 million for Kuliouou sewer rehabilitation and pump station modifications;

·       $1.3 million for Kahala Avenue sewer rehabilitation;

·       $1.37 million for Koko Head Park improvements;

·       $1.1 million for Halona Blowhole Lookout reconstruction;

·       $900,000 for Koko Head communication site reconstruction.


Future projects in Council District Four totaling more than $20 million include:

·       $9 million for Kuliouou sewer rehabilitation;

·       $9 million for Niu Valley force main sewer pipe reconstruction;

·       More than $2 million for street lighting improvements on Lunalilo Home Road and elsewhere in Hawaii Kai.


Proposed projects in Council District Four totaling more than $11 million include:

·       $6.8 million for a new elephant facility at the Honolulu Zoo;

·       $4 million for Hawaii Kai street lighting improvements;

·       $770,000 for Kuliouou Street Lighting improvements;

·       $200,000 for planning for Kuliouou flood control.


Other important City initiatives in Council District Four include:

·       Inclusion in the highly successful curbside residential recycling pilot project;

·       City support for the Hawaii Kai Dog Park;

·       Various improvements in Waikiki, Ala Moana Park, and the Honolulu Zoo;

·       Expansion of services at Hawaii Kai Satellite City Hall to include driver licensing renewals, which began in mid-June;

·       Resurfacing of Lunalilo Home Road and Laukahi Street.


This is merely a sampling of the important City work that continues in this district despite Councilman Djou’s puerile posturing and dismal lack of support.


Is this the kind of spending Councilman Djou finds wasteful? Will Councilman Djou now propose to eliminate specific projects in Council District Four to alleviate his professed concerns? Or will he tone down his rhetoric and act more responsibly?


Mayor Hannemann said he would be pleasantly surprised if Councilman Djou were to provide his constituents with more effective representation by finally voting in favor of a budget instead of always relying on the administration and other council members to carry his water.


Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Monday, April 21, 2008

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