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Honolulu Council Seeks Transparency About Chairman Who Quit

FILE - The Honolulu City Council in 2019.
Ryan Finnerty
FILE - The Honolulu City Council in 2019.

Honolulu city councilmembers have filed complaints with the city's Ethics Commission for more transparency regarding the resignation of Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson.

Anderson announced earlier this month that he would resign effective Sept. 23, saying that he wanted to take care of his grandparents. But the former chairman started working for Local Union 630, Plasterers and Cement Masons shortly afterward.

Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi alleges in her complaint that the union has close ties to a Honolulu rail project that Anderson had previously voted to provide funding for.

“Representatives of Local 630 and affiliated labor unions have appeared before the Council in the last few months for critical matters relating to the project including financing for the construction of the project which Local Union 630 stands to continue to profit greatly from,” Tsuneyoshi said in the complaint.

Tsuneyoshi requested an investigation into what transpired leading up to Anderson’s resignation and employment with the union.

Anderson was not immediately available to respond to inquiries made by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The second part of Tsuneyoshi's complaint requests that Anderson cancels a Sept. 23 special City Council meeting that would select his successor.

Council members would elect Anderson’s successor if the meeting continues as scheduled, but Tsuneyoshi and Councilwoman Kym Pine said the process needs more input from constituents.

”The current process defies Honolulu City Council tradition and more importantly, lacks community input from the very people that this member will represent,” Pine said in a letter to Anderson.

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