Friday, April 27, 2012
Hawaii Reporter: rail real estate contract awarded to out-of-state firm
by Larry Geller
Hawaii Reporter editor Malia Zimmerman reported that a lucrative real estate contract for real estate work along the city rail route has gone to an out-of-state firm. The article explains why the procurement process lead to that outcome.
[Honolulu City Council Member Tom] Berg said this is another example of jobs going to the mainland.
"Can’t find a realtor in Hawaii? Are you kidding me?” Berg said.
“For HART to claim no one in the realtor business locally was qualified and could not meet the specs needed to advance and administer property acquisition for the rail is odd," Berg said.
Other rail contracts have gone to mainland and European firms, which are using out of state workers, despite promises the rail would create up an average of 5,000 jobs per year in Hawaii, and as many as 17,000 in its peak year.
"This is a case where the workers on the bench are thinking rail will employ them, but they are left behind once again," Berg said.
[Hawaii Reporter, Real Estate Acquisition Work Along City's Planned Honolulu Rail Route Goes to Mainland Firm, 4/24/2012]
Without questioning the validity of the procurement process in this case, the fact that jobs are going to out-of-state firms and workers was predictable.
Any promises that the jobs would go to local people have always been suspect, and while it would be great if the promises were kept, they were likely just part of the propaganda stream to gain public support for Mufi’s train.
These days when a politician utters the word “jobs” or when rail advocates mention “traffic”—our antennas should vibrate with suspicion.
Has Tom Berg come up with the names of any local Realtors who meet the qualifications to do the job? Or is Tom Zerg blowing smoke from his behind.