Could Honolulu's Mayor Stop Rail Project?

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Former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano is considering a run for Honolulu mayor at age 72 for one main reason: to stop the rail project.

Could he do it?

No, we don't mean "Can Cayetano win?" That's a question for another day. Instead, we ask: Can the mayor — any mayor — stop rail singlehandedly at this stage?

Cayetano says yes.

"Do you really think that if you have a mayor that is opposed, he couldn't stop the project?" he asked Civil Beat this week. "Do you think this is a done deal?"

Asked how he'd go about killing the project, Cayetano said, "Well, you just stop it. The mayor has to give authorization for certain things. You go to the City Council and say we want to stop it. It's that simple."

Although Cayetano says it's "simple," there are complications. We looked at some of them in previous Fact Checks of statements made by Mayor Peter Carlisle: In July, City Government and Rail Part Ways (half true) and Decision-Making For Rail Has Been in My Hands (barely true).

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