City explains "idiot" version for rail

Ann Kobayashi
Ann Kobayashi

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The stacks of paper are tall and the list is long of all contractors and sub contractors for rail.  In all 113 vendors are splitting nearly $48 million.  Councilmember Ann Kobayashi highlighted Lychee Productions.  It had two contracts worth more than $1.7 million and in its scope of services it lists "prepare idiot version of EIS document."

"I was really shocked to see some of these figures," said Ann Kobayashi, Honolulu City Councilmember.

The city declined talking on camera but in a written statement explained the idiot version meant putting the more than 600 pages of the final environmental impact statement on a DVD in a less technical manner.

"The term used to describe the DVD guide was in reference to the two popular book series, "Idiot's Guide To…" and "For Dummies."  Its description was not meant in a derogatory manner," said Toru Hamayasu, City Department of Transportation Services Deputy Director.

Hamayasu also points out that the idiot's version of the EIS won multiple awards for finding "innovative and efficient ways to reach and inform the public."

Kobayashi also questions why AccuCopy Consulting got $144,000 to do a monthly report but says it hands out the same report month after month.  And Dahl Consulting gets $350,000 as a speaker's bureau even though speakers get paid separately.

"There are no duplication or inefficiencies in having multiple architects, engineers, planners, and public outreach and government relations specialists.  They are necessary resources in proceeding with the project on-time and on-budget," said Hamayasu, in a statement.

"It's very frustrating when we're talking about money being spent because already over $100 million has been spent of our transit money and what have we got?" questioned Kobayashi.

We got the idiot version of the EIS.  Also Lychee Productions gets paid more than $33,000 a month for things like assembling a "SWAT" team if needed, crisis communication, a rapid response team and training people to talk with the media, however they didn't call us back regarding this story.

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