HART board reverses course, won’t fire CEO Robbins before contract expires

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Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a stunning reversal, the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation’s board on Thursday refused to fire CEO Andy Robbins ― a week after chairman Toby Martyn claimed he actually had the votes to do so.

Robbins' fate with the problem-plagued rail authority, however, is still up in the air because his three-year contract expires at the end of the year. So far, the HART board has taken no action to extend it.

“We do not have enough votes to pass this. This measure does not pass,” Martyn said during Thursday’s meeting.

The announcement on Robbins’ status came just a day after Hawaii News Now reported that a new set of documents released by the rail authority showed that construction may need to be pushed back by as much as four years, potentially adding tens of millions of dollars in extra costs.

The latest problem involves the underground utilities along Dillingham Boulevard, which has been a thorn in the side of rail project for years.

During Thursday’s meeting, board member Kika Bukoski said that changing HART’s leadership now would only hurt the project even more.

“Probably the worst thing we can do … is change course,” said Bukoski. “I don’t think this is the best thing we can do.”

Lynn McCory, the chair of the HART committee which initially recommended not renewing Robbins' contract, was critical of the myriad delays incurred during his tenure.

“This is not going to get better. It’s just crawling along,” said McCrory. “The multitude of issues that were brought up … many were not positive but were negative.”

The 62-year-old Robbins, who earns just more than $300,000 per year in his role at HART, will now likely continue to serve as CEO through the end of the year.

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