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Blangiardi administration to host 11 town hall meetings across Oʻahu

FILE - Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi speaks at a press conference on Feb. 1, 2023.
Office of Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi
FILE - Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi speaks at a press conference on Feb. 1, 2023.

Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi and his administration start a series of 11 town hall meetings across O‘ahu with the first in ‘Ewa Beach on Tuesday.

What’s on your mind? The proposed pay raises for elected and appointed officials, maybe it's property taxes or the repaving of city streets?

The meetings are a chance for communities to ask questions to the mayor and his cabinet members.

"We're gonna be taking our entire team out there. It'll either be a director or a deputy," he said. "The idea there is so all of us, as people charged with the responsibility of doing the things we do for the city, can hear firsthand and engage and at the same time, hopefully, impart some knowledge and some things that maybe people don't know about, and hadn't been aware."

Blangiardi said he’ll share details on upcoming and current projects, as well as provide updates on topics like the Honolulu rail and its impact on O‘ahu.

"This is a transformative project. I've talked to transportation experts around the country, and I know this from personal experience. Understandably, the rail has come under phenomenal criticism all these many years for time delays, budget overruns, confusion, uncertainty," Blangiardi told The Conversation.

"But once you get something in place, and it's working, everything changes," he said. "I'm very confident that people are going to be very surprised, and really enjoy this... When you look at the population shift to the west side, and the efficiency of this, I think it's going to be very effective."

His first town hall meeting is at ‘Ewa Makai Middle School at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The town halls are then scheduled for Thursday evenings through May 25 at sites across Oʻahu.

This interview aired on The Conversation on March 20, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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