HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A feisty committee meeting over the rail project prompted a police visit to Honolulu Hale Thursday afternoon.
They were called to keep an eye on Councilmember Tom Berg who became argumentative during the hearing.
We're told officers spoke with Councilmember Berg just outside, he was not arrested and later returned to the meeting.
This was not Berg's first run-in with police. During the APEC meeting in November, he was caught on a police helmet-cam throwing a tantrum because secret service would not let him into a secure zone to retrieve a phone he left behind.
Agents called HPD for help with the allegedly intoxicated council member.
Councilmember Berg released the following statement Friday morning explaining yesterday's incident.
"Because it is imperative that transparency and clarity be made available to all taxpayers in the City & County of Honolulu and this has always been a contentious issue, I may have been a bit more animated than I should have and it was not my intention yesterday to irritate any city council members during a committee meeting. When I insisted upon some honest discussion and answers about how the iwi situation will be handled and why the costs for land acquisitions have gone up three times- from $90 million to nearly $300 million, it was misconstrued as being disruptive.
The federal government has recently offered us the ability to put buses on the fixed guideway instead of rail and they will pay up to 80% of the costs – in contrast to rail at roughly 20%. Please see attached article.
When it comes to property acquisition for the huge rail stations and route for the fixed guide way, costs have about tripled just on property purchases alone and the city has yet to complete the archaeological inventory survey where property is the most expensive for accommodating the rail.
With the federal government redefining fixed guide ways to included bus technology, which is less expensive to build, maintain, and provides superior service to rail, it simply rubs me wrong that the city won't even entertain that new deal being offered to save our taxpayers a massive amount of money.
I was not threatening anyone during yesterday's committee meeting. I apologize if it appeared that way. I think there are major important issues now at stake and we need further answers and honest discussion about them right now."