Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Monday, July 22, 2024 85° Today's Paper


Hawaii News

Next mayor vows to keep jobs, spending in check

1/2
Swipe or click to see more
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle, left, was introduced by acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell yesterday during a news conference. Carlisle was elected Saturday in a special election to fill the last two years of the term vacated by Mufi Hannemann, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in the Democratic primary.
2/2
Swipe or click to see more
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM
MAKING HIMSELF COMFORTABLE | Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle sat at a table in the courtyard of Honolulu Hale yesterday following a news conference. Carlisle plans to hold the line on jobs and spending as he takes over as mayor of Honolulu for the next two years.

Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle plans to hold the line on jobs and spending as he takes over Honolulu Hale for the next two years, and that includes keeping — for now — the Cabinet put in place by his predecessor.

"I do not believe in coming in and wielding a heavy hand," Carlisle said at a news conference yesterday in his new office surrounded by the various department heads and directors. "I believe that it would be a loss of institutional knowledge — of expertise — that would be absolutely irreparable to the future of the city."

Carlisle acknowledged he did not expect all departments heads to want to stay on board in the new administration, calling the short-term transition period "sort of a probation thing" in which the sides would learn whether they would be able to work together moving forward.

"There will be a period where some people will, because of their circumstances, decide they want to go anyway," he said. "There will be some people who will decide, essentially, ‘You know, this isn’t the way I want to see these things going. I like the way things are.’

"It’s going to prove that we’re both going to have to be flexible, and I think that’s the way it should be."

He gave no timetable on when he hoped to have his permanent Cabinet in place.

Meanwhile, he plans to have his transition office in the courtyard of Honolulu Hale, at a set of desks currently used by the City Clerk’s Office. He said he planned to erect a sign reading, "Mayor Carlisle, would you like to meet me?"

Carlisle was elected Saturday in a special election to fill the last two years of the term vacated by Mufi Hannemann, who unsuccessfully ran for governor in the Democratic primary.

Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Hannemann’s managing director, who lost to Carlisle by about 8,700 votes, said his first order upon returning to work this week was a directive to all Cabinet members to assist Carlisle as he shifts to the mayor’s office.

"We owe it to the taxpayers of the City and County of Honolulu to make sure the transition is as smooth as possible," Caldwell said.

As he stated in his campaign, Carlisle pledged to hold down spending, starting with the 137 appointees and contract workers who report directly to him.

"This new administration does not anticipate pay raises," he said, adding that departments should expect immediate restrictions on nonessential spending.

"There will be no new programs, positions and vehicles that are not essential to city service such as buses, such as police cars, such as fire engines."

He added that most requests for new positions already have been approved, and those would not be stopped.

"For all intents and purposes, there is no freeze in positions," he said. "Greater scrutiny in the future will be required for those approvals."

 

Comments are closed.