HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu City Council Chair Ernie Martin has removed Councilman Tom Berg from the Transportation Committee following a outburst during a July meeting.
In a news release, Martin says, "During the Honolulu City Council's Transportation Committee meeting on July 26, Councilman Tom Berg reportedly created tension and anxiety among his colleagues when he ignored the Committee Chair's repeated calls for order."
Martin says it is in the best interest of the Council if Councilman Berg forfeits his assignments as a member of the Transportation Committee and the Committee on Public Works and Sustainability.
Berg will remain as Chair of the Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee.
Martin says, "This action is not a censorship of Councilman Berg's right to speak on behalf of his constituents or to express his concern on matters of importance to his district."
Councilmember Berg released the following statement Monday evening:
"When I tried to ask questions in Budget Committee regarding why property acquisition for the rail has gone way over budget and why HART is acting in secrecy, I was interrupted by Councilman Breene Harimoto in that Budget Committee who stated I can ask all my questions the next day in his Transportation Committee. When I tried to do just that, I was shut down, called out of order, and it wasn't me that was stymied, but the good people of Oahu who have been duped and lied to about this runaway train. I have the largest constituency of Native Hawaiians on the planet in my district, and when I tried to get clarity on property acquisition on iwi sites for my constituents, Harimoto cut me off and refused to let me speak. He should be reprimanded for his perpetuating lies about this rail project and promoting the propaganda for it. Now that is the real travesty. Why all the secrecy? Has something gone amuck? You bet it has, and I was elected to expose the shenanigans and simply doing my job."
Click HERE to read the complete statement from Council Chair Ernie Martin.