THE STATE OF THE CITY
Council hopes mayor addresses solid waste
Mayor Mufi Hannemann will outline plans today for managing Oahu's garbage -- the troubled Waimanalo Gulch Landfill and green-waste curbside recycling -- in his second State of the City address.
"This time around, it's more I have a report card. Last year, I didn't. The first year, all I had to focus on was talking about the challenges and the game plan. So I think part of (today's) speech will be what we've done the first year, and I think we've done a lot," Hannemann said earlier this week.
Some on the City Council are hoping to hear something on the landfill.
"He has not spent a lot of his political capital on solid-waste issues -- recycling, which I have been hammering him on, and the landfill, and I'd like to see a little bit more attention paid to that," Councilman Charles Djou said. "I'd like for him to say where he plans to put a landfill and to say where his vision is for solid waste."
Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said, "I don't know if he will talk about the landfill. ... I hope that will be addressed."
Hannemann will review what his administration has done over the past year on solid-waste initiatives and talk about his future plans.
"I'm going to be actually talking about what we've actually done in the environment. I think there's a notion out there that we've been just sitting back," he said. "We will be talking about the many things that we've been doing in the area of the environment, recycling and the whole nine yards."
With solid waste, "the landfill is a puka in the plan, but we have a plan, and we're keeping (the Council) apprised," the mayor said.
Hannemann will also call for a multimillion-dollar community benefits package for communities in Leeward Oahu, which is currently home to the Waimanalo Gulch Landfill.
His speech will also give a progress report on his administration's "War on Potholes," talk about the "no-frills" budget he will submit to the City Council next week, highlight public-private partnerships and talk about tax relief.
Djou said he believes the mayor has spent most of his first year focusing on maintenance of roads and sewer systems, as well as transportation, including a rail system.
Hannemann will also talk about the public-private partnerships he was able to put together his first year, including settling the Waimea Valley condemnation case that will lead to the valley being preserved.
"That's going to be a major part of our theme, is that the city only has a finite amount of resources. You can't expect us to solve everything using tax dollars," Hannemann said.
"I think that's fantastic," Djou said, "but of course talk is cheap and (former Mayor Jeremy Harris) talked about it, too, a lot. I'd like to see some execution."
Kobayashi said she would like the mayor to address budget and property taxes along with a status report on roads, parks and other city services.
"He's been good at trying to make life better, keeping the quality of life good for our residents. He understands how everyone is struggling to pay their bills, but we also know that he is struggling to pay the bills of the city and trying to meet all the maintenance schedule," she said.