FULL COUNCIL HEARING THIS WEDNESDAY DEC. 5TH INCLUDES RAIL: THE FINAL VOTE
by Councilmember Tom Berg
I made my speech last Thursday to justify my position when the measure was debated for a vote in committee. The vote was 8-1 to pass reso 12-322, with myself being the lone NO VOTE. Why? The GET surcharge option at ½ of a percent for transportation relief was a fixed fight - corrupted from the start. HB1309, which became ACT 247 (Hawaii Session Laws 2005) allowed all counties - except Honolulu, to use the GET surcharge for highway technology. Meaning, if Kauai, Big Island, Maui counties wanted a fixed guideway and decided to put buses on it, they could. However, in the small print, hidden in the bill, was language that stated - if Honolulu wants to put buses on their fixed guideway, they can't. All other counties can do what they wanted - but Honolulu can't.
Why would that be? It was because in a study done in 2002 in Honolulu that compared buses and rail technologies - buses beat rail hands down on all fronts. See, politicians could not make a buck off buses, but could rather, cash in big off of a steel rail endeavor. Got PRP? A bus system could be built faster, for less money, use less energy, cleaner on the environment, and get riders to their destinations faster than rail besides being able to carry more passengers. The problem was, how do politicians cash in on the deal? So they (State Legislature) created legislation that dictated only rail could be advanced on Oahu - the biggest con job of all time, and many good people, have fallen for it. I have not. You can't fool me . . . and in my book, in the world of good government and justice, I simply cannot vote for a corrupted government ploy steeped in deception and ill-will to fleece the public. Follow the money. My 5-minute speech explaining the corruption was recorded on Olelo television for your information.
Here is a YouTube that outlined what was at stake: VIDEO