REPORT FROM THE OFFICE OF COUNCIL MEMBER TOM BERG – Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg (District One; Ewa Beach to Makaha) introduced Resolution 12-160 to put a stop to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s (HART) frivolous expenditures that continue to promote rail.
The council’s committee on Budget will be hearing a different resolution today at 1:00 p.m. – Resolution 12-149 that merely calls for an audit of HART’s public involment services.
Councilman Tom Berg called the resolution to ask for an audit after the vote that approved everything that HART wanted in its operating budget Bill 31 and capital budget Bill 32 “a step in the right direction.”
“I was the only council member to vote against all of HART’s budget bills knowing HART was fleecing the taxpayer and tried to put a stop to it. I voted no on first reading, second reading, and third reading as the lone no vote. I resorted to making this youtube to try and garner attention to the scam that HART was facilitating right under the taxpayers’ noses,” stated Berg, adding that “My resolution which did not get scheduled for a hearing calls for a cease and desist to the propaganda – end it right here and now, while the resolution that will get a hearing today allows for HART to continue its propaganda.”
Councilman Berg believes the five HART employees hired to do propaganda in addition to HART’s nineteen direct and indirect consultants hired to do the same are an affront to the taxpayer. “In total, HART has hired twenty-four entities pitching this rail and providing misinformation to the public that this rail will create 12,000 jobs, which is false, create traffic relief, which is false, be green on the environment, which is false, and is financially sound, which is more than misleading. It wouldn’t surprise me that the over $4 million a year spent by HART for rail propaganda is being funneled to fund the attacks and smear campaign against those with anti-rail positions”, stated Berg.
Berg made a youtube calling out Pacific Resource Partnership’s illegal push-poll and even exposed their shenanigans at a council hearing but the mainstream media has refused to cover the matter.
“I hope the media does their duty and exposes HART’s scheme to funnel our tax payer money into pure rail propaganda- whether it’s derived through IMUA RAIL, or PRP’s attack ads- where is the money coming from? At the end of the day, the tax payer should win this battle and a stop to the propaganda by HART undertaken no matter if it’s through my resolution or another,” stated Berg.
Berg was frustrated when the council passed out HART’s budget bills adding this statement: “I had for months, argued on the council that the millions being spent for public outreach was nothing more than a ruse to dupe the public and funnel money to insiders pitching the rail. The bottom line is that through today’s hearing, HART should admit it got caught and do what’s right and end the frivolous public outreach scheme right here and now.”