Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Straight talk from Gov. Cayetano

by Larry Geller

Today’s op-ed by former governor Ben Cayetano is refreshing. He starts by going straight to the hundreds of thousands of dollars of city and campaign funds that Mayor Mufi Hannemann is using to undercut the opposition.

I weigh in at this time because I am very concerned about the mayor's personal attacks on those who oppose the rail transit project. At the mayor's direction, the city — as well as his campaign organization — has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars demeaning the opposition. This is unfortunate as there is a significant and legitimate case to be made against rail transit that the public should hear on its merits.

He then digs into the conflicts of interest surrounding the city and Parsons Brinckerhoff. Here he points out that these consultants are happy to serve whatever the goals of their masters might be:

It is the height of hypocrisy for the mayor to cast aspersions on the reputations of opponents of the rail system. Whatever the conflicts of interests of rail opponents, they pale when compared to the inherent and financially juicy conflicts of the city's rail consultants who are doing the rail project's planning, design, alternative analysis and environmental impact studies.

Only a blind man would not recognize that the city's consultants, Parsons Brinckerhoff, which has already been paid $10 million in consultant fees, can be relied upon to do the mayor's bidding. In its August 2000, draft EIS report, Parsons Brinckerhoff concluded: "The light rail transit alternative was dropped because subsequent analyses revealed that bus/rapid transit using electric-powered vehicles could accomplish virtually all of the objectives of light-rail transit at substantially less cost."

By quoting snippets, I may discourage you from reading the whole article. So I’ll stop here and recommend that you click through and check out Cayetano’s op-ed. Here’s the link again: Attacks on opponents of rail are troubling.

And do consider signing the petition or helping to get signatures. You don’t have to favor HOT lanes to want to stop rail in its tracks. We deserve the chance to design Honolulu the way we, the people, want it (not to support an ambitious mayor and his self-serving supporters).


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