Anderson officially steps away from City Council; Kobayashi takes over as chair

Anderson officially steps away from City Council; Kobayashi takes over as chair
Ikaika Anderson presides over his final Honolulu City Council meeting. (Source: Olelo TV)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Honolulu City Council Chairman Ikaika Anderson participated in his final council meeting on Wednesday, officially resigning from the council at the end of one of the day’s sessions and igniting a brief debate about the process in which his successor was named.

Anderson, who surprised observers earlier this month when he announced his plan to resign just months before the end of his term, says he is stepping away for family reasons.

But two of his fellow councilmembers say he has accepted a job at a construction labor union.

In his departure, Anderson thanked his fellow councilmembers for their service and the members of his City Council office for their hard work.

“Thank all of you very much for standing with me on this staff that has really been able to serve the people of the City and County of Honolulu,” Anderson said.

Alan Texeira, a member of Anderson’s staff who ran unsuccessfully to represent Anderson’s district during August’s primary election, was confirmed by the council as the temporary District III replacement ― but not without some consternation.

Some members of the council, including Heidi Tsuneyoshi and Kym Marcos Pine, expressed disappointment that Texeira was nominated as the replacement within three hours of Anderson’s resignation announcement, before other members of the council had an opportunity to weigh in on the issue.

“Procedurally, I just want to note that, as you say, all councilmembers should’ve and could’ve been given an opportunity to present a nominee,” Councilmember Tsuneyoshi said Wednesday. “We weren’t afforded that opportunity in the manner of a couple hours your agenda was posted.”

Ann Kobayashi, who was voted Council Chair after Anderson’s departure, said that wasn’t the required process.

“We did not open it up to the rest of the councilmembers because, as I say, we were all very busy with helping people in our community, and it’s just a few months more, and we needed someone who knows the issues,” Chair Kobayashi said.

Esther Kia’aina and Greg Thielen were the top two finishers in the primary and will face off for the Dist. III seat in November’s general election.

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