Ann Kobayashi talks about her race for Honolulu mayor - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ann Kobayashi talks about her race for Honolulu mayor

Ann Kobayashi Ann Kobayashi

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Here in Hawaii, the big ticket is the Honolulu mayoral seat. Incumbent Mufi Hannemann has a strong challenger, in Ann Kobayashi.

They both have ambitious ideas about the future of Oahu. The councilwoman gave up her seat to run for mayor.

She sat down with Kristine Uyeno on KHNL's Today show Wednesday to explain why she should lead Honolulu for the next four years.

KU: Welcome Ann Kobayashi.

AK: Thank you very much.

KU: So, you're fresh off your debate last night.

AK: Yes, it was a really challenging debate. It was very interesting. It gives the people a chance to make a decision based on information they receive so it was great.

KU: How's the campaign going?

AK: Fine, we're running on a small budget, but we have this grassroots network that keeps growing. It's really heart-warming to have people come in, wanting to volunteer and they're just so dedicated.

KU: Why do you want to be Honolulu's next mayor?

AK: I thought about this for a long time because many people have been asking me. I was just concerned about the way our city was headed and it's a very critical year because the rail project is moving along, contracts will be signed. I'm just concerned about our pocketbooks and the way not enough information is being given out about the rail project, how much it's going to cost, what's the visual impact, and the EIS that was due in December of 2006, we still have not received and it's hard to make a decision based on little information.

KU: You and Mayor Hannemann disagree on how to fix Oahu's traffic problem, you're supporting An elevated three-lane highway, can you talk more about that?

AK: Well, it's an elevated zipper lane and in the middle is a fixed guideway system it's that new technology bus that I've been talking about for a long time and having that fixed guideway bus qualifies for the same funds as for a train, it qualifies for the same GET transit fund tax plus because of the two zipper lanes on the side, we can also qualify for highway funds. So we can pay off this project a lot sooner, and then ask the legislature to repeal that half a percent tax.

KU: And you are against mayor's proposed rail transit plan.

AK: Yeah, the cities with a population of two million or less, none of them has a train going through its city, because there isn't the population to support for ridership, there isn't the population to support it financially, so you need a train to go from Los Angeles to San Francisco but why would you need a train to go from Kapolei to downtown? It's just too large, it doesn't fit our city, it doesn't fit our pocketbooks.

KU: You basically think it's just too risky during these tough economic times.

AK: We have no commitment from the Federal government that will get any money. Nationally, the economy is in a big slump and there may not be enough money to hand out to all the small cities especially ours which is less than a million so for a big rail project that is always for larger cities.

KU: After the primaries, your former opponent Panos Prevedourous joined your campaign, what kind of impact has he had?

AK: Well, it's been great, he is just so knowledgeable, he has been studying our city's traffic for years and his students at the university have been working on this very project and it's based on an EIS which is what the city has now that shows that the bus system is a lot better for our city than a train and that was done by Parsons which is a company that is doing the EIS this time and they're saying the opposite so I guess it's whoever pays them but they say that a train is not good for Honolulu.

KU: Thank you, Ann Kobayashi.

Powered by Frankly