The Honolulu BRT-A Case of Dysfunctional Authority, Responsibility and Accountability

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To get anything done correctly, it is abundantly clear that someone must have authority and power to make decisions and act. It is also apparent to most of us that if that responsibility does not entail accountability (personal reward or penalty for decisions or actions) then the authority will most likely be misused.

Let’s have a look at the Honolulu BRT situation. The authority rests with city officials and some federal approvers. The consensus opinion of transportation, tourist and other businesses involved in the area to be impacted is that the overall results will be very negative. Traffic gridlock will be intensified and businesses will lose money. Some will go out of business. If that occurs, the city says it can undo the damage by tearing down the built up infrastructure. But the federal government, seeking accountability, says if such occurs, they must be reimbursed for all grants and the city must also pay for the destruction and rebuilding.


Now we are at the bottom line. The city officials have authority but if all goes wrong, they suffer no personal financial loss. But someone does.

Look in the mirror, sucker taxpayer, you are to be held accountable at the taxing table. You are scheduled to pay for their mistakes — big time.

The solution? Two choices: Raise a ruckus now to stop the process or plan to move to Las Vegas or some such because the best definition of tax hell will be known as “Honolulu.”

”’Richard O. Rowland is president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy institute focused on promoting the free-market, individual freedom and liberty. He can be reached via email at:”’