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Public transportation in Honolulu leaves much to be desired. Years ago an excellent bus system was a great asset. When I first arrived in 1978, one could ride around the entire Island for $0.25.
But with population increases and much development especially on West Oahu, traffic congestion has stolen much of the joie de vivre from the hard-working people of this once vibrant tropical isle. One of the most important issues in the upcoming nonpartisan race for Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu has to do with the future of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation ~ HART.
John Stanley Carroll has devoted 70 of his nearly 90 years to serving our community. He is a U.S. Army combat veteran of the Korean War, a U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, a Hawaiian Airlines commercial pilot and an attorney. He has also served in both chambers of the Hawaii state legislature.
Rather than retiring and relaxing on his Honokaa ranch on the Big Island, you will regularly see John in his office on Richards Street in downtown Honolulu or riding his bicycle and working out at Hickam. On some beautiful days, you may even see him piloting a glider up at Dillingham on the North Shore.
The only possible explanation is that John Carroll cares so much about the future of Honolulu that he remains engaged with the political process as one of our most respected kupuna. Now John has issued an Open Letter to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, who is term-limited and cannot run again, proposing actions to smooth the transition by getting HART back under control.
After you read John’s press release, feel free to contact him to express your support and with any questions or clarifications you may seek. John publishes his own personal cell phone number and will answer it personally. He is always accessible! You will not have to Press 1 to reach a real person.
Here it is verbatim in its entirety:
Open Letter to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
John Carroll for Mayor
September 10, 2019
Please accept this note as an attempt to be supportive of your current efforts to manage the tragic legal mess which has resulted in the HART project being nearly four times the original projected cost with rail construction nowhere near completion.
The specter of a “Revised Corrective Plan” from the federal government requiring hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars looms ominously like a skeleton in your administration’s closet.
A recent inquiry to the HART Board for copies of their minutes revealed that an EXECUTIVE SESSION was called for with the expressed purpose of discussing board members’ IMMUNITY and LIABILITY.
Our association has asked for the minutes of that Executive Meeting. The FBI’s Grand Jury Prosecutor may have sought those and much more information which continues to be concealed with the efforts of attorneys who have been retained to ensure that those documents are not released or otherwise disclosed.
You can recognize and accept your accountability to all your constituents, the people of Honolulu whose good-natured patience has been stretched very thin by your administration which likes to act behind closed doors.
You can assert right now that all construction and all disbursements connected in any way to HART’s project be totally cut off. This would include the millions to fund HART BOARD operations and salaries.
Simultaneously, you can seek the commencement of a Forensic Investigation and Audit to follow as soon as preliminary evidence has been disclosed or discovered.
Then as the Chief Executive of the City and County of Honolulu, you as Mayor can assess the status of all construction and funding and then act accordingly. You owe it to everyone who entrusted you to keep Honolulu an affordable and livable community.
A responsible Mayor must consider all options for moving forward in a sound and sensible technological manner and needs to finalize the rail project in a way that is realistically usable, ride-able and, most importantly, AFFORDABLE!
If you are unwilling and/or unable to handle this crucial task efficiently and professionally, then with the votes of the good citizens of Oahu, as your successor, I will do so.
John S. Carroll
Honolulu’s Next Mayor
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