Honolulu City Councilman Tom Berg has been taken off the Transportation Committee and the Committee on Public Works and Sustainability after an outburst during a committee meeting on July 26, according to Council Chair Ernie Martin.
Berg released the following statement:
"When I tried to ask questions in Budget Committee regarding why property acquisition for the rail has gone way over budget and why HART is acting in secrecy, I was interrupted by Councilman Breene Harimoto in that Budget Committee who stated I can ask all my questions the next day in his Transportation Committee. When I tried to do just that, I was shut down, called out of order, and it wasn't me that was stymied, but the good people of Oahu who have been duped and lied to about this runaway train."
Police were called to a Transportation Committee meeting when Berg apparently became disruptive.
Some people in the room, including some councilmembers, say Berg made them afraid and uncomfortable.
Berg said he didn't know who called the police and didn't know why. He felt was exercising due diligence under the agenda.
Police never questioned Berg about the incident, but went to the meeting in case the situation escalated.
Berg will continue to serve as chairman of the Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee, Vice Chair of the Safety, Economic Development & Government Affairs Committee, and membership on the Committee on Executive Matters and Legal Affairs as well as the Committee on Legislative Matters.
Martin said this action is not a censorship of Berg's right to speak on behalf of his constituents or to express his concern on matters of importance to his district. Martin said it is a straightforward reminder that all members are obliged to observe simple rules of conduct and professional decorum when engaged in council business.