MAYOR CARLISLE VETOES FOUR BILLS
(Tues., June 21, 2011)—Mayor Peter Carlisle vetoed today four bills that had been approved by the City Council.
Carlisle vetoed Bill 33 and Bill 34 (2011) relating to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) operating and capital budgets for fiscal year 2011-12. The budget bills were introduced by the City Council.
"Less than a year ago the electorate of Honolulu approved a charter amendment establishing a semi-autonomous entity with a policy-making board of professionals that would remove the vagaries of the election cycle, individual political ambition and favoritism from the rapid transit project," Carlisle said. "The city charter authorizes the HART board to control the transit funds and, after public hearings, to adopt its own operating and capital budgets."
"Bills 33 and 34, by which the City Council assumes control over the transit funds and the budgets therein, attempt to amend the city charter by ordinance, which is illegal," Carlisle said.
A third vetoed measure, Bill 35 (2011), would authorize reimbursements from the transit fund to the general fund and the highway fund for pre-2007 expenditures, or prior to the transit fund's existence. "The state Attorney General has opined that reimbursements for costs incurred prior to Jan. 1, 2007 would be contrary to state law," Carlisle said. "Fundamentally, I am not at liberty to disregard the Attorney General's opinion on this question of state law."
Bill 36 (2011), also vetoed, would reinstate a discounted disposal fee for residue from commercial recycling operations. A previous disposal fee discount of 80 percent had been discontinued under Bill 47 (2010), which the City Council passed on May 11 and which Carlisle signed into law on May 31 (Ordinance No. 11-6). Bill 36, passed by the Council on June 3, would provide a 50 percent discount that would gradually be reduced to 20 percent.
"The discount was created years ago when recycling markets were weak and discounts were considered necessary to support local recyclers," said Carlisle. "The situation has changed significantly since then, and most local recyclers and members of the public testified to the City Council in favor of eliminating the discount altogether. Eliminating the discount will return approximately $2 million in annual revenue to the City."
Media contact: Louise Kim McCoy, Mayor's Office, 768-7798.