HONOLULU (KHNL) - The Honolulu City Council is once again forced to seek out a ninth member after the sudden death of Councilmember Duke Bainum.
Bainum died late Tuesday night from complications due to an aneurysm.
"On behalf of the council, we're all saddened by the news of Councilman Bainums passing. A very big shock to all of us, our condolences go out to the family, obviously a tough time for them" said City Council Chair Todd Apo.
On a day councilmembers were prepared to tackle the city's 50 million dollar budget deficit, money matters and politics would suddenly take a back seat.
"Shocked. I spoke to him just yesterday and told me his concerns about the city and the budget so he was concerned about the finances of the city" said Councilmember Donovan Dela Cruz.
The retired physician and former state lawmaker died suddenly last night.
Fellow councilmembers says Bainum was energentic in discussions yesterday, and eagerly anticipated today's vote.
His long time advisors says the news of his death comes as a complete shock.
"We're devastated by the sudden and surprising loss. Duke was feeling well yesterday and having fun chasing kids around in the evening. He experienced chest pain last night and was take to the E.R. where he received treatment but couldn't be revived. There were no prior indications that anything was wrong. Our hearts go out to Jennifer and their sons" said senior advisor to Bainum Mallory Fujitani.
Despite this morning's shocking news, council chair Todd Apo says the work of the city must move forward. He also says the search for Bainum's replacement will begin immediately, following the same blue print recently used to replace the late Barbara Marshall.
"Unfortunately we have a model that we've gone through recently to fill a vacancy. We will follow that model. It needs to be done in 60 days, the council has ten days to set up that schedule. So, we will ensure that the information is out publicly. Anyone wishing to look at that vacancy has a reasonable and fair opportunity to do so" said Apo.
Councilmember Bainum is survived by his wife Jennifer, and two sons Z and Kona. He was 56 years old.
Bainum's political service in Hawaii includes four years as a state representative in the legislature, and and eight years on the Honolulu City Council.
In February, City Councilmember Barbara Marshall died, leaving a vacancy that had to be filled by a special election. That vote was carried out entirely by mail.