On Wednesday, the City Council pulled a fast one at the urging of city managing director, Kirk Caldwell. Approximately seven hours after council members unanimously agreed to recommit Bill 51 to committee and let it die, they passed it. This was after Chair Apo met with the Mayor during the afternoon hearing to discuss Bill 51.
Whether you support or oppose this bill, this method of passing legislation should not be allowed. If bills can be pulled back into session and voted on again after lobbying by the Mayor and Managing Director, what good is the process of committee hearings and council meetings?
It is important for people to understand that there is no guarantee that rates for homeowners will go down just because this bill was passed. In fact, they are likely to go up for everyone simply because assessed values have fallen and the budget deficit is expected to be at least $140M for next fiscal year.
The managing director is running for mayor. The mayor is running for governor. Bill 51 sounds like it will help homeowners save taxes. Homeowners vote. In my opinion, these are the reasons this bill was so important to the mayor and managing director that it had to be pulled out of the dust.
- Natalie Iwasa, Honolulu