Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson, who represents the Windward Side of Oahu, unexpectedly announced his resignation today, effective following the Sept. 23 council meeting.
In a letter to the city clerk, Anderson did not cite a specific reason but suggested that he planned to help care for his grandparents, who are in their 80s.
“As many who know me are aware, I was raised by my grandparents, who are now in their 80s,” Anderson wrote to City Clerk Glen Takahashi. “Together with my mom and dad, I kokua with my grandparents’ various needs and errands, and as such have arrived at the difficult decision to resign from the Honolulu City Council, effective at the adjournment of the September 23, 2020 10:00 a.m. Honolulu City Council meeting.”
Anderson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
His pending departure represents a generational political shift for the Windward Side, which this year saw the departures of state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, (R, Kailua-Kaneohe) and her daughter, state Sen. Laura Thielen, (D, Hawaii Kai-Waimanalo-Kailua).
State Rep. Chris Lee, (D, Kailua-Lanikai-Waimanalo) had not heard of Anderson’s plans to resign but said the councilman has “sacrificed a lot when it comes to his family for the job, which is basically 24 hours a day, seven days a week whenever people need help.”
“There are always going to be issues to address at the council, but you only get one more family and that’s what it comes down to,” Lee said.