Council budget briefings canceled abruptly amid leadership turmoil
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Council budget briefings canceled abruptly amid leadership turmoil

  • STAR-ADVERTISER

    Honolulu City Council members considered a final vote on a bill, on Feb. 13. In a situation believed to be tied to the Council’s leadership turmoil, Council Budget Chairman Joey Manahan said he was forced to cancel this morning’s budget briefing at Honolulu Hale due to lack of a quorum.

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In a situation believed to be tied to the Honolulu City Council’s leadership turmoil, Council Budget Chairman Joey Manahan said he was forced to cancel this morning’s budget briefing at Honolulu Hale due to lack of a quorum.

“We’ll try again tomorrow,” Manahan told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

There are four Council members on the committee, and only he and Budget Vice Chairman Brandon Elefante were available to attend, Manahan said. While there was no decision-making scheduled for today, a simple majority — in this case three members — are needed to make a quorum and convene the meeting, he said.

The other two committee members are Ikaika Anderson and Kymberly Pine, who are at the center of the leadership battle.

Pine, in a text message, said this morning that she had told Council leaders months ago she could not make a meeting today. Manahan said he knew she wouldn’t be there.

The 9 a.m. meeting was supposed to kick off a week-long schedule of budget briefings where each city agency gives presentations to the committee. Budget Director Nelson Koyanagi was expected to give a presentation on Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s $2.61 billion operating budget and $875 million capital improvements package.

“More than likely, we’re just going to push everything back,” Manahan said.

He acknowledged that the cancellation is partly a result of the uncertainty over Council leadership.

Manahan said he’s not been told if new leadership will keep him on as Budget chairman.

Late Friday, four members of the nine-member Council introduced a resolution establishing a new leadership lineup that re-installs Ernie Martin as chairman, replacing current Chairman Ron Menor. Pine was to be vice chairwoman, replacing Anderson.

In January 2017, Menor ousted Martin as chairman with support from Anderson, Manahan and Pine. Councilman Brandon Elefante cast the fifth vote.

Friday’s resolution installing Martin as chairman had Pine as its lead signer. The other three were Ann Kobayashi, Martin and Trevor Ozawa. The resolution places Carol Fukunaga as floor leader, suggesting strongly that she would be the fifth vote needed to oust Menor’s team.

Pine is calling for a special meeting to be held March 19 to vote on the resolution.

No leadership posts will change until then.

Martin has been Caldwell’s biggest critic on the Council and Menor’s leadership team was seen as more amicable to the administration’s policies.

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