Talk suggests leadership change for the City Council
Rumblings are surfacing again about a possible shakeup at the City Council that could see Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz and veteran members Ann Kobayashi and Romy Cachola removed from their leadership posts.
"I guess they want to get us bad guys out," chuckled Kobayashi, the Council's vice chairwoman, who also leads the powerful Budget Committee. "I know they're looking at a change."
Councilmembers have said that Todd Apo, Gary Okino, Rod Tam and Nestor Garcia could form an alliance and choose Barbara Marshall to lead the nine-member Council. Councilman Charles Djou said he is on the fence.
Marshall declined to comment. "I want to get through transit before I discuss anything else," she said.
Reasons cited for the current talk of leadership changes include the sometimes bumpy process in the Council's selection of a mass transit system and route. But one councilmember also cited the "ongoing battle" between Mayor Mufi Hannemann and Dela Cruz. Some councilmembers said Dela Cruz survived an attempt to remove him as leader of the Council earlier this year, an effort apparently led by the mayor.
"I think Donovan has done a great job in administering the chair's position, but unfortunately I think this battle between him and the mayor has clearly caused some distraction," Apo said.
Okino said, "I think that's part of it, but I think it's many things," pointing to last week's 15-hour Transportation Committee meeting that led to what he thought were not the right decisions.
"There are times when you are going to agree, and there are times when you are going to disagree but it's important to insure that a system of checks and balances is in place," Dela Cruz said.
The mayor said that it is the Council's choice on who leads it. "If they keep the current leadership, fine, we'll work with them. If they change it, we'll work with them, too," said Hannemann, a former member and chairman of the Council.
Council inauguration is scheduled for Jan. 2, when a new leadership could begin.