Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mayor's State of the City

In yesterday's State of the City address, da mayor decreed:

"The city must put employees on furlough two days a month saving the city 4.5 percent in payroll." (to address a $140 million budget shortfall)

Then in what seems like a direct contradiction, da mayor goes on to announce....

"plans to stimulate the economy by moving on 100 new construction projects, valued at $220 million, in the next six months."

The prospect of 100 new construction projects sprouting up around town is music to my ears because that' s my trade and the unemployment rate in the island's construction industry stands at a whopping 50 percent. Myself, I make more per hour working on my own then I would on a union job, but union work is steady and the net effect is earning thousands of dollar more for the same few month's period. Apparently though the new projects will be funded by furloughing city workers twice a month which means my gain will come at the expense of the city workers. It's tantamount to economic cannibalism. Some might term it crocodile tears, but no. Meanwhile, the mayor might be positioning the new projects to be eligible for Obama's federal stimulus money designated for public work projects, but if the gamble falls through, he'll be in deep kukai following through fiscally with his loaf of bread to the construction trades.

To begin with, no Honolulu mayor has ever been elected to governor even though that would seem like the logical progression being that 80 percent of the state's population reside within the boundaries of the City and County of Honolulu. Irregardless, just about every Honolulu mayor has tried to make the leap to governor as if it were their entitlement. That said, construction unions have always endorsed Hannemann in past political campaigns and that might have played a role in the way things were dished out at yesterday's State of the City especially in light that Mayor Hannemann plans to serve two-years of his four-year term than run for governor. That's not to say it's always been easy to support Hannemann mainly because Hannemann has displayed a penchant to run for every higher political office that he laid his eyes upon. 

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