Saturday, July 2, 2011

HART Board Adopts Council Budget, Won’t Sue

Nuts and bolts were on the table for the inaugural meeting of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) board of directors yesterday. Policies for procurements, ethical conduct, transparency, finances and more were adopted, along with selecting the board’s leadership.

But the biggest piece of news to emerge – it had online reporters all a-Twitter – was the board’s decision to not sue the City Council over who has authority over HART’s operating and capital budgets.

The Council inserted language in HART’s FY 2012 budget bills that gives the Council final authority over all HART expenditures, a position at odds with the City Administration’s assessment of the Charter amendment that created HART as approved by voters last November.

Mayor Peter Carlisle had threatened to sue the Council over the issue if it overrode his vetoes of the budget bills, which it did unanimously on Monday, but he subsequently said he’d wait to see what HART’s board would do, if anything.

Don Horner, chair of HART’s Finance Committee, said yesterday a lawsuit isn’t in the taxpayers’ interest and that HART will “engage the public in the budgetary process.”

Reporters presumably will track down the Mayor during this Independence Day weekend to ask whether he’ll sue over HART’s budgetary independence.

3 comments:

sumwonyuno said...

Good to see compromise and people working together toward making rail a reality.

Thad said...

Hi Doug,

I just discovered your blog. Can you please tell me where you got the 18% in your header. I'm studying the numbers on rail and that's quite a number!

Mahalo.

Doug Carlson said...

Thad, Section 3.4 of the Final Environmental Impact Statement discusses Transportation Consequences and Mitigation, including rail transit's anticipated reduction in Vehicle Hours of Delay in 2030 compared to 2007's existing conditions. See Table 3-14 in addition to other references in the section. The FEIS is available with numerous other documents at the transit project's new website: HonoluluTransit.org. Check it out!