Mayor Carlisle sworn into office, outlines priorities - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mayor Carlisle sworn into office, outlines priorities

Peter Carlisle Peter Carlisle

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Peter Carlisle once told one of his deputy prosecutors that he would become mayor when pigs learn to fly. At his swearing-in ceremony at Honolulu Hale Monday, the winner of the September 18 special election for mayor unveiled a statue of a pig with wings and wasted no time outlining his priorities.

"If you would please, raise your right hand and repeat after me," Mark Recktenwald, State Supreme Court Chief Justice, said while administering the oath of office.

With his wife at his side, Peter Carlisle was sworn in as the new leader of the nation's 13th largest municipality. It wasn't without a little hiccup.

"And conscientiously and impartially," Recktenwald continued with the oath.

"And conscie...conscientiously and impartially," Carlisle stumbled through with a smile.

It will be far from smooth sailing for the new mayor, who must deal with the issue of homelessness, fix roads and water mains, move the rail project forward, and balance the city's budget.

"While these are difficult and taxing times, I believe that these are golden opportunities," Carlisle said.

Facing a budget shortfall, Carlisle wants to establish spending and collections management programs, and call upon respected members of the private financial sector.

"We will come up with the type of solution that we're going to need to get us through this fiscal, this budget cycle as quickly as possible and make it a template for cooperation in the future," he said.

The mayor says he will support the state Department of Hawaiian Homelands in providing affordable homes in West Oahu. First up, he'll lead a team on a trip to Washington DC in the next few days to meet with Federal Transit Authority officials regarding the $5.5 billion rail project.

"We want to get it going as soon as we possibly can," he said. "We're going to let everybody in Washington DC know that we are enthusiastic supporters. We want rail and we want it now."

He backs the proposal to form a separate, 10-member board that would make decisions relating to the rail's planning, construction and operation.

"Most importantly, it takes the politics out of it," he said about the proposed charter amendment that Oahu voters will decide on November 2. "This is going to be an independent authority that can exercise its own judgment based on its expertise and ability."

The mayor has tapped former deputy prosecutor Jean Ireton to look into tax credits for historic homes, and also pledged the city's support for the creation of the Kamehameha Schools multi-generational learning complex in Makaha.

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