The Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter announced today it would not be making an endorsement in the race for Honolulu mayor.
“Unfortunately we believe none of the candidates has yet put all the pieces together,” Anthony Aalto, chairman of the environmental organization’s Oahu Group, said in a news release. “Honolulu needs a mayor who is both committed to keeping the country, country and who understands the urgency of developing the modern infrastructure needed to ensure most new growth will occur in Honolulu’s traditional urban core.”
Mayor Peter Carlisle is running for re-election against former city Managing Director Kirk Caldwell and former Gov. Ben Cayetano.
The Sierra Club applauded Cayetano’s opposition to the proposed Ho’opili and Koa Ridge development projects, but said stopping urban sprawl on a long-term basis would require development of a mass transit system to keep housing in urban centers. Carlisle and Caldwell are strong supporters of rail.
“A modern mass transit system offers the opportunity to revitalize parts of Honolulu into exciting, walkable mixed-use communities,” Aalto said.
Robert Harris, director of the Hawaii Chapter, said the Sierra Club would support a candidate committed to smart planning and compact urban growth.
“But we need concrete plans and specifics,” Harris said. “Rhetoric is not enough.”