Honolulu mayor chooses top 5 priorities

Bus service, repaving roads, sewers, parks, rail, homeless top Caldwell's list

Published  3:10 PM HST Apr 03, 2013
Mayor Caldwell at State of City Speech
HONOLULU -

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell waited 100 days into his term to give his first address.

After recognizing his new administration, Caldwell laid out his top five priorities.

Priority #1 is restoring bus service, dedicating $3.5 million in the budget to cover it.

"When riders buy a ticket, they should expect to find a seat in a safe and clean vehicle and not have to sit in the dark worried that the bus will pass them by if it is full," said Caldwell.

Priority #2:  Fixing the city's crumbling roads.  Mayor Caldwell wants to spend $150 million a year over the next five years to make the roads more drivable.

"On this schedule, we will fix the majority of Honolulu city roads that are in bad condition and I will start a re-pavement preservation program of the roads that are in good condition starting in July," said Caldwell.

Improving the city's aging sewer system and maintaining support in building rail are also on the mayor's list.

So are city parks.  The mayor is proposing $11.8 million to be used to repair and improve public facilities at our parks with $3 million just for Ala Moana Park and another million set aside for Thomas Square to make it the crown jewel of a new Culture and Arts District in Honolulu.

The homeless also made his list.  Mayor Caldwell wants to put roofs over their heads with a new housing project.

"This focuses on housing the chronically homeless as quickly as possible as a first step toward their recovery," said Caldwell.

Council Chair Ernie Martin calls the mayor's plan ambitious, but not unreasonable.

"It's a matter of how we get there, but I think we share the same priorities," said Martin.

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