In the special election for Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, I support Peter Carlisle.
About a million people (including visitors) are on O‘ahu any given day, and the main job of Honolulu Mayor is to run core municipal services like police, fire, trash, sewage, transportation and water and balance the budget to do so. But the job's also about preserving O‘ahu's special qualities and directing smart growth, and projecting Honolulu's role in the Asia-Pacific region. And, with fully 70% of Hawai‘i's citizens residing on O‘ahu and Honolulu as Hawai‘i's economic and political center, our Mayor can be a state leader.
I've known Carlisle as a fellow lawyer and worked closely with him as Hawai‘i's Congressman during his service as Prosecuting Attorney. He's a clear thinker and straight talker, willing and able to ask tough questions, find better solutions and make hard decisions. He's independent, works well with diverse folks, and has no political agenda other than making government work. He'll make a good Mayor as we face up to challenges both ignored and not yet known.
Kirk Caldwell has an attractive resume, but he's been a follower, not a leader, throughout his political career. He is the product and clear choice of a political machine that must end. As Mayor, he would be captive to the influence of special interests asking only what the City and County of Honolulu can do for them. As a state leader, he would not provide the independent perspective on state government so essential to finding new solutions to statewide challenges.
I like Panos Prevedouros: his energy and enthusiasm; outside-politics base and perspective; and fresh thinking and independence. We need him and many others like him to seek and serve in elective office. In this election, though, he and Carlisle are the change candidates against a status quo Caldwell; I don't want that vote to be split at the risk of Caldwell prevailing. As well, as a cautious mass transit supporter, I don't believe rail should be effectively scuttled on this vote. So for me Prevedouros is a yes, but not this one.
This Honolulu Mayor election is unusual: it's winner-take-all on primary election day to fill out the remaining two years of the four-year term from which former Mayor Hannemann resigned. This means it's possible our next Mayor could be elected with significantly less than 50%. So if, like me, your goal is good, inclusive government beyond the machine, but you're undecided between Carlisle and Prevedouros, please consider supporting Carlisle as the best choice to achieve that goal.