The primary election for Honolulu mayor is tomorrow, Saturday, August 13. If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote, the two candidates who receive the most votes will face off again in the general election on November 8.
Friends keep asking me who I will vote for. I’m really not sure.
I’m passionate about the issue of homelessness. Honolulu has simply got to do a better job of finding housing for people who truly need it, and of preventing druggies, bums, and lunatics from taking over our parks, sidewalks, and other public areas and crapping all over the place.
But there are lots of other very important issues at stake, too. The city’s huge, costly, and poorly managed rail transit project, ethics in city government, cooperation with the state government, taxation, road repaving and park maintenance are just a few.
I’m terribly disappointed in our current mayor, Kirk Caldwell, and really don’t trust him. I think he’s a pawn of banking, real estate and tourism special interests, and he’s a very weak leader. He announces lots of plans but doesn’t always come through with results. He moves fast on problems in Waikiki, but completely ignores other neighborhoods.
Homelessness has increased on Oahu every year since he became mayor.
But I’m not convinced either of his main challengers are any better.
Former Congressman Charles Djou criticizes everything but doesn’t seem to have any real plans of his own. And former mayor and prosecutor Peter Carlisle doesn’t seem to have any really new ideas, and it’s just hard to take him very seriously sometimes.
So, again, I’m not sure who I will vote for tomorrow. And I won’t try to tell you who you should support.
Djou seems to be the leading candidate, but it’s doubtful that he will draw enough support to win outright, so it’s very likely that he and Caldwell will face off in the November 8 general election, no matter who I vote for.
By then, maybe one of those two will become more convincing. Either way, everyone needs to keep the pressure on the candidates and the eventual winner to provide the leadership Honolulu so desperately needs and to address this homelessness crisis effectively.
Our city is a mess and it’s not getting better.