Fiscal Prudence of a City Budget: Carlisle Edition

Panos Prevedouros, PHD
article top

BY PANOS PREVEDOUROS PHD – This list would make a great joke if it was not so costly for Honolulu residents and their descendants:

(1) Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle put the $5 billion sewer consent decree on the back burner (have you seen any major construction?) and made the $5 billion rail the only budget priority.

(2) Carlisle’s delaying tactics for the federal lawsuit filed by Cayetano et al. postponed the final hearing from November 2011 to August 2012 at a much higher cost to taxpayers. His delaying tactics will incur construction and repair costs of over $200 million.


(3) Carlisle decides to spend hundreds of millions on construction that will have to be torn down when the city in court. If that’s not a waste of money, what is it?

(4) Carlisle claims ignorance to the fact that his city manager recklessly and unilaterally suspended the city’s debt ceiling of 20% even before rail had any cost overruns.

(5) Carlisle’s procurement process selected Ansaldo instead of Bombardier or Sumitomo although Ansaldo offered a $125 million more costly bid. Worse yet, spare parts and know-how won’t be coming from neighboring Canada or Japan (who also are good tourist customers,) but from bankrupt Italy which is literally as far away on the northern hemisphere one can get from Hawaii.

(6) Carlisle insists on starting heavy construction although the Feds have not approved a dime of construction monies and the funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration cannot be done before October or November this year.

And to conclude Carlisle’s baker’s half dozen of irresponsibility:

(7) Who can forget his remark in the 2010 elections that the Honolulu Authority of Rapid Transit agency “will cost us nothing?” HART’s new executive director alone costs us $1 million over three years.