comscore Horner resigns as chair of Honolulu rail agency | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Horner resigns as chair of Honolulu rail agency

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Mayor Kirk Caldwell, center, announces that he has accepted chairman Don Horner’s resignation from HART. Also at the press conference were two HART board members, Mike Formby, left, director of the Department of Transportation Services, and Colleen Hanabusa.

  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / APRIL 2014

    Don Horner

Don Horner, embattled board chair of the agency overseeing Honolulu’s rail project, has resigned from the board.

Horner submitted his resignation to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell after an approximately 20-minute meeting today at Honolulu Hale.

“Too often in politics, the focus becomes shooting the messenger of unpleasant news rather than collaboratively working on solutions,” Horner wrote in his resignation letter to Caldwell.

The move comes several days after Honolulu Council Chairman Ernie Martin, Caldwell’s top political rival and a potential mayoral candidate, called for Horner and Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation Executive Dan Grabauskas to resign amid concerns of project mismanagement.

Horner, the retired chairman of First Hawaiian Bank, had served on the volunteer 10-member HART board since its inception and had been reappointed to a new four-year term this past summer.

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      • Stop this mess is the only sensible option, but none of them are sensible, they only want money from developers and to funnel money to their political contributors.

        • That’s how it will be – people will drop out, but their hand-print will be on the rail for decades to come. Replacement – how about somebody like Peter Adler, not another investor-developer. Thanks.

        • Dan Grabauskas should not resign. The truth of the matter is that there are extremely few people in the transit industry that have the expertise to oversee this highly complex rail project. It is unfortunate that he had to deal with so much adversity that was in place before he even came here. No one could predict our booming construction economy (which actually is a good thing) that escalated the cost of rail. We are in a tough rail cost situation that would be a problem for anyone heading this project.

        • “Dan Grabauskas should not resign. The truth of the matter is that there are extremely few people…” AND GRABBY IS NOT ONE OF THEM. trouble is that he may be too “smart” for the good of this overall grandiose public works project. some might even say that he is here for the fat pay check of cost escalations and change orders. politically speaking, grabby unfortunately is the face of this debacle while the politicians who are pushing this project are sitting safely in their offices picking their teeth with their feet up, saying, “yes, grabby has mismanaged this project and should be ousted. in the mean time, we’ll just find someone else to be the lightening rod to public criticism and anger.” the mayor is also not out of the woods for this illogical and hugely expensive public works project. both should follow horner.

        • Mufi the snake hopes you will forget what he did to Honolulu to get this mess through.

        • Yep. Just shuffle the deck and keep on spending until the money dries up. Federal audit and jail time for those that have dipped into the peoples money and given us nothing but a huge mess.

        • What adversity was in place before Grabauskas came? Are you going yo blame lawsuits and Cayetano again? That was always a false excuse.

        • Dan Grabauskas bankrupted the Boston MTA and was fired after the city council voted not to give more funding to his schemes. Then he found the perfect suckers, us in doppy Honolulu to ruin. This rail is undoubtedly going to finish, but we should finish the mayor’s term and get people who can at least stop the bleeding.

      • I was against Rail from the start. However, stopping the mess now is still going to cost us probably the full amount committed to this day and more. Lots of contracts have already been awarded. Rail cars are being built and some are already here. Then, there is the question of all those huge concrete columns and bridges already built – do we just leave them as is? Taking them down will be very costly – probably more than what it cost to build them. What to do is a hard question.

        • Another wooden stake into the corrupt HART of the $24.6 Billion Dollar TITANIC RAIL SCAM from no where to no where and much more than a Blight!!!

        • And operating this fiasco is going to be another cash-hole. Making people resign who are responsible for this mess is a great idea — but this wasn’t Horner’s idea. Get rid of Caldwell and all the City Council that voted in favor of it!

        • IRT Sailfish:
          The rail guide way could still be used and converted to a two-lane reversible freeway (HOV(2))from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium which would carry up to 14,000 commuters per hour compared with only 3,000 commuters per hour by rail (70 percent standing. Express buses would carry 10,000 commuters per hour and HOV(2) autos would carry 4,000 commuters per hour.

          Conversion to a highway reversible would eliminate construction of rail stations costing $25 million each (10 rail stations from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium would be eliminated). Stopping the rail at Aloha stadium would cap the total rail cost to less than $4 Billion…Conversion to reversible would eliminate need for new power plant, no increase in GET surcharge, no utilities relocation along Dillingham, no O&M for rail ($140 million per year).

        • Stop the rail and leave the concrete pillars. Then in 500 years when civilization is gone, the archeologist will wonder what the pillars were for and how were they erected, just like Rapa Nui…

        • We should stop and have what we have set up a museum as an example of a failed rail project. We could set up tours to see the tragedy of what can happen and simply…”don’t go there”

        • CONVERT THE STRUCTURE INTO BIKE LANES FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER, SO THOSE ATHLETES CAN SHOW OFF TO THE WORLD THAT THEY CAN RIDE BACK AND FORTH, SAVING GAS WHILE THEY DO SO.

        • You are right, the only thing dumber than building rail is to abandon the original scope.

        • Hybrid 1 – 10,000 passengers per hour by bus? Let’s do the math.

          If a typical bus holds 50 people that is 200 buses per hour or a bus every 18 seconds. Does that sound reasonable? Even if they were high capacity buses and held 80 people that would be 125 buses an hour or a bus every 30 seconds.

          In order to maintain the flow of buses the buses would have to return to the starting point. If this round trip took 2 hours it would take 400 buses to make that happen. Right now the bus fleet is about 560.

          Not to mention the driver’s salary – $35/hr plus another $35 or so in benefits – so conservatively $70/hr X 200 = $14,000/hr.

          And I haven’t even mentioned where dothe buses every 20 seconds go when they get off the expressway. Of course they will have to use the regular freeway to get back to their starting point as the express lane is one way only.

        • No where? It goes from the Kroc Center to Ala Moana McDonalds, by the time it is finished, I will be retired and will ride it for senior coffee.

        • IRT Freedom: The rail guide way can be converted to two reversible freeway lanes, each lane with a capacity of 2,000 vehicles per hour. Thus the two lanes can carry 200 express buses and 3800 HOV(2) passenger vehicles per hour.

          200 express buses (50 passenger capacity) will carry 10,000 passengers per hour . The 3800 HOV(2) vehicles will carry another 7.600 passengers per hour for a total of 17,600 passengers (commuters) per hour one way.

      • “Horner” didn’t become “Chairman of The Board of Directors” of FHB because he’s stupid. Clearly, he resigned because he knows “THE RAIL”/”HART” IS CORRUPT and he knows “CALDWELL” is a nefarious grand-standing SHIBAI-ARTIST. STOP THE RAIL AND IMPEACH CALDWELL!

        • Horner’s expertise is in the banking industry but obviously not in rail or education. Grabauskas should throw in the the towel as well. What a mess.

        • Former First Hwn Bnk president Horner’s ONLY ‘job’ was to shift the rail contractor from Mufi’s Bombardier to First Hwn Bnks->PNB Parribas->Finmeccana -> Ansaldo Breda. For thatit was mission accompished for him and there was absolutely no reason or purpose to continue to be HART chair except to pretend to make decisions and retain the title

        • RUSTY THE HATED SCREECHING RAIL REARS ITS UGLY HEAD AGAIN & AGAIN. Built on a foundation of lies, deception and backroom CASH LITTLE BROWN ENVELOPES OF LOVE” laden deals the choo choo is bound to FAIL.
          Now we need the most evil of all Mr. Caldwell to resign in shame and take Grabaskas with him to hopefully a cozy little LGBT hotel room

      • Now is the time for resignations of the Mayor, Grabaskas & the City Council members who voted this in after receiving monies from RAIL CONTRACTORS AND DEVELOPERS LIKE PRP 7 KEIWIT PACIFIC

    • Yes, pick a leader who is going to take some responsibility and provide leaddership to save us from the biggest scam on taxpayers in the history of the State of Hawaii. This debacle is already close to costing every family on Oahu about $40,000 (federal taxes included). Bend over Oahu, this is just the tip of the

        • Why is anyone holding grabauskus and horner responsible? Rail exists in its current state thanks to Mufi and Linda. Next time any off you see one of them give them a big mahalo.

        • Ex-Governor Linda Lingle had nothing to do with the push to create the rail in fact if it was her idea the Democrats would have shut it down before it even started since it would have been a Republican initiative.

        • Someone posted earlier the he has the expertise. After all he did manage the Big Dig that went way over its budget. Now that what I call expertise. Go Rail Go. On time and on budget. lol

      • Problem is we have the weakest mayor in Honolulu history. Everything he does is done in a way to somehow benefit his friends and donors. He is owned by the rail contractors, that’s clear. Owned by the banks, too. What other Honolulu mayor has made $250,000 a year working for a bank like Caldwell does? (Territorial Savings). When his 4-year Mayor term finishes this year, he will have collected one million dollars in pay from Territorial Savings at the same time he was Mayor. Who does he really serve? It’s no secret, it’s in his ethics disclosure. He has no shame. Kirk Caldwell should resign, too.

        • how do you come up that the Mayor is the weakest of all former Mayors. Your actually writing that he’s in cahoots with his friends that’s building TheRail. The favors will be collected when the project is done and he’s retired under the palm tree with a MaiTai in hand.

        • Look at the majority of his campaign donors—rail contractors. How can a sitting mayor justify $250,000 a year salary from a bank at the same time he is mayor? He is weak because the city is a disaster under him—rail, parks, sewage spills, rubbish pick up, zoo accreditation, and the list goes on.

    • Changing Grabby and Horner is necessary but will NOT stop the rail financial bleeding.

      The mayor should stop the rail at Aloha Stadium which would: cap the rail cost to less than $4 Billion; allow the cancellation of the GET surcharge extension; eliminate the new cost for a new HECO $500 million power plant for rail, eliminate utility relocation along Dillingham Blvd ($200 million); eliminate the unsightly elevated rail structure through downtown; and eliminate the exponential rise in additional rail costs along the downtown route. (The rail cost could rise to $12 Billion to $16 Billion to Ala Moana Center).

      Empty parking spaces are available at Aloha Stadium during week days which provide an ideal location for a “park and ride” transfer point for express buses to windward Oahu, the Airport/Pearl Harbor area and downtown-bound commuter destinations. A portion of the Stadium parking area can be easily converted to a major bus transit station for express buses to operate from the Stadium during peak hour traffic ( 3 hours am and 3 hours pm) with departures every five to ten minutes.

      For the rest of the day when the rail will be running virtually empty, the buses can be run every 30 to 60 minutes.

      • Grabby is gone along with Horner. Together they were the two stooges. Horner was a bust on the BOE as well. But now we need to find some creative way to fix the problem. Yes, find an alternative end point to the out of date and incorrectly routed rail. Remember that Cayetano and many others warned us all repeatedly.

      • Don Horner was a volunteer with no axe to grind–he did his best but when you work with a solid Union and solid Democratic union base with no checks and balances his hands were tied. Inefficiency wins again. I think he deserves an atta boy!!!

        • He gave it his best shot and then realized the size of the dog pile he was standing on.

        • He says he resigned because of soul searching. He failed to say he, as chairman, would take full responsibility for the mess HART has created while being chairman. What does this tell you???

        • and a SLAP IN THE HEAD & 2 HOURS WITH CALDWEL IN A LGBT HOTEL FOR POLITICIANS ONLY

        • Horner->president 1st Hwn Bnk-> PNB Pariibas->Finmecannica->Ansaldo Breda->Ansaldo Hawaii. Bombardier kicked out of the Oahu rail bidding while Ansaldo Hawaii was NOT registered to do business in Hawaii and should have also been disqualified from bidding like Bombardier. Like so many things the fix was in when Horner became chair of HART and anyone saying that was pure coincidence is smoking Maya’s drug of choice

        • To inverse again: Thanks for your Hitlerian logic. Repeat a lie often enough, it will eventually be accepted as the truth. Blaming Horner for recent problems may be OK, but let’s not blame him for what happened while he had nothing to do with rail.

        • No hon. Please read what Cayetano has to say about the real Horner conflicts of interest. Check out his First Hawaiin Bank role. Don’t be fooled!

      • You have to laugh when you read, “Too often in politics, the focus becomes shooting the messenger of unpleasant news rather than collaboratively working on solutions,” Horner wrote in his resignation letter to Caldwell.

        Typical comment by an utterly clueless bureaucrat. Loves being in charge, extra pay, but willfully failed to understand when you are the lead person for HART you must lead by example. Have high integrity, morals, put the needs of others before yours, understand you have a fiduciary duty to be a good steward of taxpayer’s money.

        Horner failed in all those areas and more. Was the “Weak Link” in charge and directly sharing responsibility with Grabby Boy for the ongoing rail financial debacle.

        Horner’s resignation is a great start. Still need to replace Grabby Boy and all the other members of HART. Time to take out the trash.

        • Lee1957 – I was referring to his time as a fat cat banker. Got used to living the high life playing fast and loose with other peoples money. Just as Grabby Boy and HART are doing now.

        • wiliki, there’s an opening on the rail board, why not apply? Oh, you’re already with HART? Sorry, didn’t realize, my bad!

        • LOL its whats not reported, i.e HECO concerns, cracking structures, over budget items, etc.

        • The mystery is why can’t these people do their jobs. Always asking for more money, excuses, spin, lies.

          Mystery is how did these people ever get their jobs. Sure wasn’t from their professional skills.

    • Horny is still full of excuses even as the door hits him in the but on the way out. “Too often in politics, the focus is on shooting the messenger who’s bearing the bad news…” Horny: HART was created to take the politics out of the rail project so please don’t cry this is because of politics. Read the mayor’s own consultant report and upcoming audit by the city auditor. Rail has been hilariously horribly mismanaged from day one. None of the HART board members knows a thing about running a rail project. And Grabby Boy is the most hilarious incompetent of them all. Grabby: you next brah. Bye now.

      • I’m happy for Don Horner – who would want to volunteer to deal with the critics who do nothing but complain and name call. Enjoy your retirement Don, you don’t need this cr@p!

        • Okay so the mayor’s own consultant and the city auditor are now just “critics” huh? Got you. I wish Mr. Horner a happy retirement as well because he knows nothing about running a rail project. But taxpayers should never forget his brilliant idea of sticking us with a permanent GET tax hike if he could pay off the Legislature with a 25 percent skim and payoff when the state has said it only needs 2 to 3 percent to administer the tax.

        • LETS HOPE HORNER STUBS HIS TOE AND FALLS INTO A PIG TRAP IN THE MOUNTAINS FOR RETIREMENT

      • Exactly, why does he call this “politics?” This is supposed to be TRANSPORTATION, not politics! And there’s the problem; the people who started this weren’t thinking about the transportation needs of Oahu, they were only thinking of politics–and whatever they’re getting out of the project.

        • If yobo truly reflects who you are, that’s all we need-an aspiring chaebol. We all know what great ethics they have. Next, hire the guy who keeps calling you from Nigeria to replace Grabby.

    • Good point. Horner obviously was a bad choice for this position as his position has conflict of interest written on it. He should have never been placed on the HART board from the start. But now the Mayor is on the hook for bad decisions. This entire nightmare is not gone by any means.

    • Ernie Martin wanted Horner to resign. Now that Horner has resigned, this will cause more delays to the project, and escalate the costs even higher. This is a very complex project. Changing the head of Hart in the middle of this project, only creates more problems that it solves. Martin is using this to advance his political career. He only wants to be Mayor.

    • Not to worry Don, your original mission was accomplished. Your succeeded in directing the rail car contract to a bankrupt Italian rail contractor heavily indebted to your former employer BNP Paribas, the parent company of FHB.
      The billion dollar rail contract enabled Ansaldo to be sold off to the Japanese and BNP to recover their ill advised investment. Win -win right, only the taxpayers got scrood here.

  • “Too often in politics, the focus becomes shooting the messenger of unpleasant news rather than collaboratively working on solutions,” Horner wrote in his resignation letter to Caldwell.” Messenger? Mr. Horner, you’re more than a messenger.

  • Decent news but Horner should shoulder as much blame as Caldwell and Grabauskas. After all, the technology, the contractors and most others were your making.

  • Mr. Horner, Thank you for resigning today. Although you did not take responsibility from your poor performance, you at least left so someone else could try to. Please refrain from volunteering in any other public positions, you have done more than enough for this state and we cant afford you to be involved in any more positions of need.

      • What a joke and a total slap in face to everyone to have the chair of the BOE that oversees public education send BOTH of his two sons to private school Iolan. You think he would send either of his two sons to UH?? That would be total failure for parents like him. However elitist like him love the DOE and UH cause there is serious $$$$$ to be made with no bid insider connected contracts.

  • It’s so funny that they City didn’t already take in consideration all the anticipated construction cost to include moving electrical lines, property purchases etc, now that it’s a election year it’s easy to put the blame on someone else.

    • We thought so but in Hawaii the votes are rigged. We the entire island of Oahu voted for Ben Cayetano but old snake eyes won because he was on the take. welcome to the democratic state of Hawaii. The nations third world country destroyed by Democrats and da happy boys like MUFEE

  • I guess Horner is saying he was “just the messenger”. I thought he was the chairman of HART and a objective oversight. By saying he was a messenger it seems he was a puppet who just said what MR. G and the mayor wanted him to say. I cannot recall Horner saying something that I believed was what he felt based on what he was told. Maybe it was time to step aside. Horner could have given the public more insight into the Rail project. I don’t consider what Martin demanded as politics, it was a demand based on the reality of the project.

    • No. The reality is that no one was ever going to bring this boondoggle in on budget and now it will just get worse. The rail is a political. Politicians believe they can take enough tax payer money to create any realty they want. It’s been easy for dummies in office over the years as Hawaii’s economy kept growing on tourists and military. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. The dummies in office now bought their offices by pandering to the unions. It should be them, not Horner or any others, that pay for their deceit of the public. It’s bad now but it’s going to get worse.

  • Horner is not the only one that needs to resign. Based on who is on the HART board. they are just the usual bunch of political insiders and they need to go as well.
    Grabauskas also needs to be fired. Sure would like to know what idiots decided to hire him after his role in the Boston “the Big Dig” fiasco.
    Horner is pretty clever. He is jumping off the Titanic while the getting is good. i guess he can now claim like Pontius Pilate that his hands are clean and he has no
    responsibility for the coming financial disaster that the rail project will be for Honolulu and eventually the entire state.
    Puerto Rico went down the same road and look where they are now. Asking Congress to bail them out by allowing them to file bankruptcy under a special bill titled Super Chapter 9.
    Puerto Rico also built a rail system which has been a financial disaster and this contributed to their current financial crisis.

  • “Shooting the messenger” Is that all his job was? Anybody can be a messenger. What about making cost control decisions? That the case yeah move on .

    • “Juat a messenger”. Isn’t that what all those SS officers responsible for carrying out mass executions and those prison guards at the concentration camps in Germany claimed? Yeah sure, like that absolves him of his incompetence.

      Never had high regard for bank presidents or electrical utility ceos.

  • Too little, too late. When the rail boondoggle becomes to bleak and depressing, when all hope seems lost..when Hawaii teeters on the brink of financial disaster and ultimately, bankruptcy–Just say to yourselves, “Go rail– Go!” All of your troubles will vanish!

  • Let’s extend the rail to UH Manoa! Let’s build a rail spur into Waikiki! Let’s extend the rail to Ko Olina! Let’s build a rail spur to Mililani!

  • Why did we chair a banker in the first place? Stick to banking. Need to hire business and transportation professionals. And I don’t mean the kind they THINK they have at the DOT. I mean REAL transportation officials, ones who don’t spend their workdays just making excuses why things can’t get done.

  • The rail mess is too far gone to save us taxpayer from being bilked! The resignation of anyone hence forth will not save us from this dilemma……we are doom to a financial plight never before seen in Hawaii! Either prepare fo flee seeking better living condition or tighten our belts to a life of self-sacrifice and mortification!

    • The mentality expressed in these comments, are those of idiots. Rail is a very complex project. Grabauskas is the only consultant who has any experience with similar projects of this complexity and magnitude. To fire him, would only be a disaster. Horner, being an ex-banker, may not be up to the technical and construction side of this project.

  • How is this a “volunteer” position? Overseeing a multi-billion dollar transit construction project is not something you want volunteers in charge of…or is there something missing in the article where the chair is a compensated position but the board members are volunteers?

  • Ernie Martin called for Horner to resign. Horner did not cause the overruns. The overruns were caused by rail opponents like Ernie Martin who delayed the project after contracts were already in place and caused all of the cost overruns to date. Ernie Martin should resign for his role in the cost overruns.

  • Ben Cayetano for HART Chair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We know you were against it, but at least we will hear the truth about costs.

    • Do you really believe that anyone in “Horner’s” capacity could be in a position of “disclosure”?
      Caldwell, THE UNIONS”, the Prime Contractor (Ansaldo/Hitachi), and all related PROFITEERS are NEVER GOING TO LET THAT HAPPEN… This has been a “MONEY-GRAB” FROM DAY-ONE…

  • I guess there are no HART agency members with any construction management experience or construction cost estimating experience. Too bad, these types of people would have come in handy in determining appropriate construction contract modifications that were upping the costs. Does HART planning and engineering even developed a critical path network to track project progress and costs? If not, what a real shame. Utility relocations, etc would have been addressed way before this item becomes a problem and show stopper.

    • Rail is new. Very little experience in town. The staff has the experience for the technical stuff. Looks like they don’t like political stuff that comes with this job. Especially working with grandstanding chairman Ernie.

      “Too often in politics, the focus becomes shooting the messenger of unpleasant news rather than collaboratively working on solutions,”

        • For you Ernie Lovers. Please get him elected Mayor, then we in Mililani can be rid of him. Better yet, get him to move to your district. Then you can have him all to yourselves.

  • First order of business to reduce HART rail cost over runs: Move their 4 floors of offices out of the most expensive building downtown, Ali’i place.

  • Mr. Horner, I hope you read this. I know what it’s like to be handed infrastructure projects that were improperly planned from the beginning. I respect the decision you made, but respectfully disagree with shooting the messenger talk.

    The one thing I learned when I was in a similar position was to halt a messy/ amateurishly planned project until all financial factors are under control. I’ve worked on 3 rail projects in various capacities, only one of which was under adequate control from the beginning. Rail isn’t my only infrastructure project background, so just say these kinds of projects have significant gestation period, 10 years of planning for very large ones. And that’s just the average. Honolulu did this slip shod job in a year or so. My old EIA and financial plans to get governmental approvals were 4 or 5 inches thick. Mufi and Waihee came saw the things we worked on in Asia before I retired, but I think he learned nothing. You should have hit the breaks day one and examine all aspects of the financial plans and engineering, assign teams to each aspect and engineers to oversee. Redo the forward plans with real numbers. Yes, that basically means start from scratch. Figure out if other technology would produce better operating results (I have a feeling it does, but off topic). The only one that even came close was Cayetano, but the federal numbers he used were still low in my opinion. Unrealistic? I’ve done just that with living dead projects in squirrely places like Turkey and Thailand.

    I would have supported a good rail plan, but just reading through the submissions on HART website makes me ill. Intentional neglect. Looks bad for us old timers in infrastructure.

    There should be no surprises in infrastructure planning unless it’s a geotechnical survey issue that never came up before (sometimes changes in law or governmental regulations and approvals but those are man made), or new technology glitches. Those are the ONLY areas of true build uncertainty I hit consistently and that often cannot be known until dirt gets flying. No excuses for the rest. They are controlable factors.

    The fallacy of putting political types and people from other industries in charge shows how poorly managed this debacle is from the top. It is not true that ‘general managers’ can manage anything with the right support. The insight to lead properly in infrastructure projects is a special thing.

    I came from banking myself, but left for the client side in infrastructure development. It took years of experience afterwards to really manage projects affirmatively. So I feel empathy. I know I was in no position to even see the right direction for projects until several years into the job.

    Sadly, you got the sink or swim trial by fire. Sorry to see that. You can’t do the job without years of infrastructure experience in various roles.

    I’d buy you a beer or something to rehash war stories, but won’t do the public any good at this point. Lucky thing we’re both retired. Good luck with future endeavors.

        • Horner is an outstanding leader, and rail has been planned for over 30 years.

          I don’t think it’s the management, but this is a new project, and and HART didn’t have the option of hiring an experienced staff.

      • Hey wiliki, remember I said they visited me in Asia? Yes. Why? MATRA. The last failed elevated rail project. It just so happened I was plugging away at some aspects of it in Taiwan. I typically don’t count that because the government was in control of it, nit my guys. Nobody really rated it highly there aND we have successor tech now. So, I know about past plans here. Remember I’m an old guy.

    • Yes. Does the HART board have a clue? No. They really thought that they would have the expertise to build a train that is costing the average taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars. Is there an engineer on the board? Anyone but a spinmeister with experience in rail?

  • Horner was a volunteer, means that hes working for free from the good of his heart for the benefit of the city of honolulu. Why should he put up with the crap if he not being paid for it.

    Ernie, I hope you are happy now, you should continue to get the volunteers to quit. You will save the city absolutely nothing by doing it.

  • In my opinion, merely a scapegoat…it does not erase the fiasco that’a making its’ way into town…incompetency or stupidity…in that past I would have asked for the entire Rail Team to pick one…in this case it’s both. Very…very sad. Election year coming up…

  • Anyone who has actually worked with Don Horner knows that he’s both smart and frugal. I’m sure he was doing as much as could be done as board chairman to control expenses. What those of you who are applauding his resignation don’t realize is that with Horner out of the picture the final cost of finishing the project probably just increased by another billion dollars.

  • Been reading all the comments of people playing the blame game but the biggest suckers are those who voted for this disaster. Maybe next time, you’ll THINK before being duped. Mufi sold it to you for $3.5 billion and the smart ones knew it would be well over that figure. Ben tried to warn us but dirty politics convinced you suckers(PRP and White). Don’t be so gullible next time and remember………..THINK!!!

    • The public was lied to from the very beginning. Rail was touted as reducing future traffic time but in its own report, HART concludes that traffic commute time will be worse in the future with rail. City claimed that the feds would pay close to half of the costs, now it a minor percentage with Honolulu taxpayers paying for the majority of the costs of rail and probably will have to pay forever to support and maintain rail.

    • Exactly. Bend over Hawaii. You wanted it and will be paying for it long after it’s built. The money needed to maintain it will forever increase. Look back an think of those ridiculous commercials. Too late now Hawaii.

  • Why a retired chairman of First Hawaiian Bank would ever consider serving on the volunteer 10-member HART board is beyond me. As Horner says he was the ‘messenger’ relaying bad news. Not the cause of this MESS/Mismanagement.

    In a scenario like this the council members (Ernie Boy) is looking for a fall guy. You don’t hear about how the council members were involved in this fiasco from the start, with yellow envelope deals (now I’m saying it), and a stake in the ever-increasing RAIL costs.

    This is NOT the fault of just 2 people. It’s a concerted effort of the whole team including Council Members.

  • All HART members should resign since they are all to blame for this fiasco. The Mayor should admit the establishment of HART was a mistake and take ownership of the problem. Don’t blame the Chairman, blame yourself,mayor, and be honest with the public taxpayer.

  • I drive down Kam Hwy a couple times a week and have never seen anybody form Kiewit actually working. They are sitting down and looking at there cell or just walking around. One time I actually saw a guy sleeping in his truck. Is there any oversight of this project?

    • That is why the Inspector General is auditing local oversight as well as federal oversight. I believe they will find major fault with both. Remember that the Federal official McMillan used her Federal position to help lobby Hawaii state tax matters. That in itself is a no no.

  • The entire Council and Mayor should also resign. They are responsible for this billion dollar mess; Caldwell campaigned on this and the Council grandstanded by “acting” concerned about cost but voted for the funding.

  • Lots of folks in denial. Losing Horner will have zero material effect on this project. Rail isn’t stopping at Aloha Stadium or Middle Street. Final price will end up 8-9 billion. Open your wallets.

  • Seems my post redirected to another article. Try again.

    At operating budget of $180 million each year, and taxi fare Ewa Beach to Ala Moana at $105, that’s 1.7+ million trips per year over the system route. Hillarious. Cheaper to pay cab fare for all Ewa commuters than operate rail. And that doesn’t completely account for build costs and finance charges. Got to either laugh or get sick. I choose to laugh. So enjoy the joke everyone.

    • DA ALLU SAYS to Hell and stay there STOP RAIL NOW FOR IT IS AND HAS BEEN A BOONDOGGLE OF EPIC PURPORTIONS AND AN INSULT TO ANY THINKING PEOPLE

  • Ask Ms Iga, former state auditor, to come out of retirement to replace Horner?

    Open up what is done as a bike path til it hits the Aloha Stadium or Middle Street……then switch to Hybrid I idea.

    sell all the steel rails to BART and cancel the rail cars order (ship the two rail cars we’ve received to BART).

  • Ernie “crystal ball” Martin has been a highly outspoken critic of HART management and execution. If he’s so smart, he should be Horner’s replacement and save the day (or not).

  • Though a day late and a dollar short, thank goodness some level of accountability happened with this management shake up for our beleagured rail project. Now we need part two to be done and Mr. Grabauskas should resign, be removed, or at a minimum have the poor performance of the rail project documented in his annual performance review.

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