Carlisle, Caldwell, Cayetano trade verbal jabs

First Mayoral Debate among 3 candidates

 UPDATED 12:08 PM HST May 04, 2012
HONOLULU -

Honolulu's three mayoral candidates made their best pitches to a group of 200 or so potential voters Wednesday night.

The future of rail transit on Oahu became the focus of the debate early on, as Mayor Peter Carlisle, and candidates Kirk Caldwell and former governor of Hawaii Ben Cayetano traded verbal jabs. 

"The city said rail would create 10,000 jobs and 7,000 during the peak.  But a UH study says it will create 2,000 jobs," said Cayetano.

"We get a chance to redesign our city around transit stations so that we can re-create places like Waipahu that used to exist and can exist again," said Caldwell. 

"The most important thing about rail is not just the transit system.  It's about transit-oriented development.  It will change the way we use our lands and create our future and how we build for generations to come," said Carlisle. 

The future site of a landfill also sparked some different responses.

"You got lot of people upset in Kailua and Kahuku.  You can't have machines make decisions for people," said Caldwell.

"I think Kahuku is an odd choice.  The roads are narrow.  It's a long drive and those trucks will beat up the roads like crazy," said Cayetano. 

"We need to do everything humanly possible to not only get rid of trash, but to stop people from making trash. Let them understand this is their responsibility as well," said Carlisle.

All three candidates agreed on supporting a plastic bag ban, but couldn't agree on whether to hold a live television debate in the future. 

The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii organized the debate.  Audience members had to pay a fee to listen to the debate.  The tape delayed debate will be televised in its entirety by Olelo television starting May 7. 

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