by Councilmember Tom Berg, December 28, 2012
Our two-years together at City Hall has come to a conclusion. If you want to converse with me personally, feel free to use email@example.com from herein as the firstname.lastname@example.org is to be deactivated.
I will be filing additional resolutions today before my term officially ends on January 2nd, at noon, so as to advance more opportunities for our district even after I have departed office. For easy access to the status of my resolutions that are still alive and waiting to be heard, please visit my website: www.councilmanberg.com - for I will be maintaining the website and keep it active after I have left office. The website has a direct link to my youtube channel as well - so you will be able to watch both old and new youtubes that are published.
For the last 12-years, I have had running on Olelo television a one-hour show called, "For Ewa Today." I will continue producing this series and feature news stories and events the mainstream media won't. Airtimes are Mondays at 10pm and the second Sunday at 7:30pm, channel 54 - subject to change.
Some tidbits - I had a perfect attendance record for all full council hearings, never missing a vote, and only missed one round of neighborhood board meetings due to illness.
Staff and I really enjoyed going to the many events and meetings held in our district. Please recognize the service and dedication of our team - Evelyn Souza, John Bond, Nomi Carmona, Celeste Lacuesta, Henry Makanani, and Jon Launer. From community cleanups, town hall meetings, neighborhood boards and so forth, they worked as I did, with a passion for pursuing justice and the opportunity to bring remedy wherever called upon. We also were served by former staff members - Philmund Lee, Gemma Espresion, and Creighton "Pono" Higa.
We really did accomplish a lot for our district and county overall and we were extremely effective at City Hall on numerous fronts. This in part, was due to the many of you who provided testimony on legislation and sacrificed to make a difference. We thank you.
We had for example, the Makaha Bridges, Waianae Sustainable Communities Plan, Nanakuli PIM, Oneula Beach Park, GMO's, Ewa Plain Historic Trails, Shipping Containers for Housing, Leeward Coast Flood Task Force, Leeward Coast Community Benefit Package, and the Public Firing/Gun Range in Kalaeloa to contend with that were big issues specific to our district. Overall, we passed 22 resolutions that I introduced - 21 of the 22 passed unanimously. Commercial Activity at city parks consumed a big part of my Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee that I chaired, and of course, the rail was the headline of all headlines.
I believe I may be the only politician on Oahu, who while in office, never held a fundraiser. My focus was not on getting re-elected, but rather doing my job - communicating with you as often as possible and keeping you apprised of legislative matters to the fullest. My periodic, almost daily at times, e-newsletters are cataloged chronologically by date and available for reference via mywebsite. I worked hard to bring City Hall to you - holding a town hall event every month, up and down the district, sometimes on weekends, sometimes outdoors at parks and farms, and covering topics pertinent to the issues at hand we faced collectively. From GMO's to the rail, we sought not to follow, but lead the way.
It is hoped our shipping container housing initiative takes hold and expands so that the homeless and economically challenged have shelter once and for all. This will help deter illegal dumping and property theft/vandalism on our ag land as well.
And to all our four-legged friends without a voice being euthanized today in secrecy at the Hawaiian Humane Society for committing no crime, but for simply just being alive, we tried, we really tried to stop the unnecessary killings of healthy, adoptable animals . . . the adoption of resolution 12-326, my last piece of legislation to pass, is a start in the right direction and hopefully will lead to saving a life.
I am truly grateful for the honor and privilege to have served you at the council. Our staff and I took on the challenges for the love of it, to perpetuate goodwill and a spirit of hope. We were not in it for the money, prestige, or self-preservation to climb any political ladder. We went to work each day to be better than satisfactory, and to leave office with a record of accomplishments that we did the best we could, and left nothing on the table.
I leave you with one of my favorite youtubes. It shows how in the end, no matter how divisive/contentious the issue, that we as a district had/have a powerful, educated voice and can overcome, heal, and unite no matter what ever obstacle was or is thrown at us: Bill 50 Testifiers
Have a prosperous and happy New Year one and all.
MAHALO for the opportunity and the time we had together.
Councilmember Tom Berg