Local Connection: Improving Honolulu

By: Rick Blangiardi

Last week I attended a luncheon hosted by The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii at which our Mayor Kirk Caldwell, "Talked Story" with those in attendance regarding his plans for improving the much-needed infrastructure needs of Honolulu pending the City Council's approval of his proposed operating budget.

Later that same day, we reported the City Council approved, by an 8-0 vote, a record spending bill of $2.16 billion, the largest ever for Honolulu with no increase in property tax rates despite some speculation that would happen.

At the heart of the new operating budget will be millions spent on much needed capital improvements, sanitation, highways and streets, and not to forget the "Rail Project".  In listening to Mayor Caldwell, one cold not help but be impressed with his energy and passion for his job and the pride and confidence he has in his most newly appointed team to help run the city.  With an eye on Hawaii's short- and long-term future, Caldwell's plan is specific and inspiring.  At some risk, however, appear to be a number of smaller non-profit organizations, all of whom manage to help people in various states of need, but fall off the City's radar screen, when it comes to actually being able to help these folks.

It can only be hoped that while we attach the many demands and needs of Honolulu's physical landscape, that we do not forget the "spiritual glue" that actually holds this place together, its people, and especially those who really need the support of these organizations.

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