Honolulu mayoral transition off to a bumpy start

Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle
Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle
Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell
Acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell

By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In their first joint news conference at Honolulu Hale, acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell welcomed Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle to promote a successful changing of the guard, but the very office in which they stood, quickly became a source of tension.

Together with his cabinet Caldwell set the tone Tuesday with a lei and a promise.

"So I stand here before all of you along with all of my cabinet to pledge 100 percent support to Mayor-elect Peter Carlisle to make sure that it's a smooth transition.

Carlisle then asked for cooperation from city employees during the upcoming probationary period, when their positions will be up for review.

"I hope you will come to me with your intentions, I hope you tell me what you would like to do, if you are someone who is hugely qualified and there are many of you in this particular room and you are planning on going out to that vast forest of wealth, the private sector, then please let me know" said Mayor-elect Carlisle.

But before long, the smooth transition hit a snag as the subject shifted to where Carlisle's transitional office should be located. The mayor-elect was offered temporary space in the Memorial Auditorium next to Honolulu Hale, but...

"And when I opened the doors to the place that is completely under construction, to me although I am a novice at this, it has that terrible possible stink of asbestos" said Carlisle.

Caldwell responded, with a gentle nudge, but check out Carlisle's reaction…

"We still have the office available across the way, Mission Memorial, it's a beautiful building, an historic structure, it's been fully renovated and is occupied by people of the city and county of Honolulu.

And Carlisle responded, thanks, but no thanks...

"I'm not going to go over there, period. It's a waste of time and money and it's not going to happen… my transitional office will be that desk down there until somebody invites me somewhere."

After Carlisle settled in downstairs, and even put up his feet for the cameras, the media was escorted to the Mission Memorial space next door, where Caldwell's staff told reporters it's perfectly safe.

For now, no offer of another space. He's not officially in charge just yet, but Carlisle is clearly taking charge of his transition.

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