Please, enough with the squabbling
The Honolulu City Council's budget vote was accompanied by verbal shoving matches.
IT'S painful enough for city residents and businesses to have to pay higher taxes and fees to keep Honolulu going without also being subjected to childish squawking from elected officials.
Pettiness and surly exchanges increasingly wear away the already thin veneer of respect the public holds for politicians at City Hall, creating an atmosphere ripe for wresting away their authority to set the financial agenda.
If they don't want an uprising of taxpayers petitioning for budget issues to be decided by ballot, Mayor Mufi Hannemann and certain members of the City Council should go to their corners, tamp down their egos and work for sensible consensus.
They might do well to consider Councilman Todd Apo's idea to lay out budget priorities and then set tax rates and fees, instead of the current method of projecting revenues from overvalued property assessments and figuring out how to spend it all.
The process might result in less of the hostility displayed last week as the Council voted on a $1.6 billion operating budget and $789 million construction budget.
"Hypocrite," Hannemann hurled at Councilman Charles Djou, who accused his colleagues and the mayor of spending like "a drunken sailor." When member Donovan Dela Cruz criticized the budget, Hannemann contended Dela Cruz's motive "was all about wanting to be Council chair again."
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