Council, Mayor Threaten to Sue Each Other Over New Rail Agency

Civil Beat/Adrienne LaFrance

The controversy over who has direct oversight of Honolulu's new rail agency came to a head on Tuesday, with Honolulu City Council members and Mayor Peter Carlisle's administration threatening to sue each other.

The threats were prompted by a memo Honolulu Managing Director Doug Chin sent to the council.

"I think the administration fired this first shot with this memo," said City Council member Ikaika Anderson. "I see it as a threat."

The issue bubbled over in a civil but somewhat tense special Budget Committee meeting. That same day, Chin sent a letter again challenging the authority the council had asserted when it advanced the new rail agency's budget last week.

Chin testified that the "whole point" of establishing a transit agency was to give oversight of rail to a longterm board of directors who would be "not simply affected by elections or constituents... not that there's anything wrong with that."

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