Tam, Apo lose key leaderships
The City Council has changed committee assignments following an unsuccessful attempt to reorganize the leadership that some Council members said Mayor Mufi Hannemann was behind.
"The Council wants to focus on the people's business and continue a working relationship with the administration," Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said yesterday.
The biggest changes come in the removal from key committee chairmanships of Councilmen Rod Tam and Todd Apo, who along with Nestor Garcia and Gary Okino were seen as siding with the mayor in the attempt to unseat Dela Cruz from the chairmanship.
Tam had been chairman of public works, which oversees the city's roads, sewers and landfill. Apo had been chairman of the transportation committee, which includes mass transit.
In a memo circulated and initialed yesterday by members Dela Cruz, Ann Kobayashi, Romy Cachola, Barbara Marshall and Charles Djou, Tam is now chairman of Economic Development, which he also oversaw previously, and Apo remains chairman of affordable housing and intergovernmental affairs.
Apo could not be reached for comment.
"I'm not bothered by it because basically I've been independent," said Tam, who added that he is satisfied with the job he did as Public Works chairman, including advancing a solid-waste management plan yesterday from his committee.
Tam said he believes he was removed from his chairmanship after he voiced his desire to maintain a working relationship between the Council and Hannemann's administration.
"There were some games played and that's fine. I'm a big boy; I know that," he said. "To me, the title, the chairmanship, doesn't matter -- it's what you do for the community."
Under the new lineup, Marshall will be chairwoman of the Public Works and Energy Committee, Djou will become chairman of the Zoning Committee and Cachola, currently chairman of Planning, will add Transportation.
Dela Cruz said he believes all the councilmembers will be able to move beyond this and work together. "No matter what happened, the people needed to come first."