A Strong Record of Accomplishment as Mayor of Honolulu
• Parks. Made maintenance of public parks and facilities a priority, with millions invested in repairs to gyms and playgrounds; cleaned Ala Moana and Leeward Coast beach parks; reconstructed Halona Blowhole lookout; broke ground for ‘Ewa Mahiko Park gym.
• Roads. Rehabilitated or repaved nearly 1,000 lane miles of roads and filled 355,000 potholes since 2005; spending $77 million for rehabilitation for current year and $77 million the next.
• Solid Waste. Introduced curbside recycling throughout O‘ahu and expanded scheduled bulky-item pickup service island-wide; broke ground for H-POWER expansion to increase trash-handling capacity and boost electricity generation.
• Sewers. Prioritized rebuilding Honolulu’s neglected sewer infrastructure, bringing sewer main spills to an all-time low.
• Rail Transit. Poised to begin construction of Honolulu Rail Transit, with construction to create 4,000 jobs immediately and 10,000 during its lifetime.
• TheBus. Added 80 hybrid buses to the City fleet, one of the nation’s top metropolitan transportation systems; completed Handi-van headquarters and Mililani Mauka and Wai‘anae transit centers; broke ground for Middle Street and Wahiawa transit centers.
• Public Safety. Honolulu ranked by FBI as one of the safest big cities in the nation; Honolulu Police Department and Honolulu Fire Department earned national accreditation.
• Police. Completed police department’s crime laboratory and firing range; purchased more than 200 new police cars.
• Fire and Ocean Safety. Expanded firefighting vehicle fleet; rebuilt McCully-Mo‘ili‘ili Fire Station; building new East Kapolei Fire Station; and completed repairs to dozens of existing firehouses. Replaced 36 lifeguard towers.
• Telecommunications. Continuing improvements of first-responder telecommunications equipment and towers; introduced E911 system to enable emergency dispatchers to pinpoint locations of mobile phone callers.
• Fiscal Responsibility. Earned upgrade in bond rating from AA- to AA, saving millions of dollars in borrowing costs; received clean audits from independent auditors and earned designation as “low-risk auditee.” Opened the Integrity • Hotline to report fraud and waste. Cut previous administration’s $39-million-a-year visioning program; canceled millions of dollars in long-pending construction contracts and old purchase orders; saved $2 million in workers’ compensation costs; appropriated $92 million for long-term employee benefits.
• Public-Private Partnerships. Partnered with public and non-profit agencies to save Waimea Valley and Pupukea-Paumalu¯from development. Secured 34 acres of prime Kapolei property from Kapolei Property Development for unrestricted uses in exchange for road improvements. Partnered with community to build Hawai‘i Kai dog park.
• Economy. Lobbied in Congress to prevent Base Closure Commission from shutting down Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, saving 4,000 jobs; established Enterprise Zone to support Waimanalo agriculture; lowered property tax rates for farm land; introduced Farmers Market at Blaisdell Center; partnered with O‘ahu Farm Bureau on land conservation program; saved 115 homes at Kunia Plantation Village.
• Tourism. Committed City to host 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Honolulu in November 2011; championed return of NFL Pro Bowl to Hawai‘i; helped bring “Hawai‘i 5-0” back to the islands; and attracted Disney Resorts to Ko ‘Olina.
• Youth. Initiated Po‘okela Fellows program that provides college students with internship opportunities. Created 21st Century Ahupua‘a Ambassadors, an environmental program for youth. Sponsored SMART Youth for Rail Summit and Recycle-a-Shoe events.
• Online Services. Put numerous City services online, including certain types of building permits, motor vehicle licensing and registration procedures, and real property tax payments.
• Honolulu Zoo. Opened Keiki Zoo, orangutan exhibit, veterinary clinic, and learning center; constructing new entrance and elephant exhibit.
• Blaisdell Center. Overhauled 40- year-old Blaisdell Arena with new air-conditioning, seats, and hardwood floor; made major improvements to Concert Hall and Waikiki Shell.
• Cultural Traditions. Introduced Mayor’s September 11 Remembrance Walk, Mayor’s Prayer Service, Windward City Lights, and Hawai‘i Book and Music Festival.
Mufi Hannemann served as the 12th mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, the 13th largest municipality in the United States. He took office in January 2005 and was reelected resoundingly, with an 80-percent public approval rating, to a second term that began in January 2009.
As mayor, Hannemann amassed a remarkable record of achievement. He led the development of Oahu’s first rail transit system, which is poised to break ground soon. His strong emphasis on public safety led to Honolulu being named by the FBI as one of America’s safest big cities, accreditation of both the police and fire departments, additions to the fleet of fire engines and police cars, repairs to fire houses, establishment of a Department of Emergency Management, expanded ambulance facilities, and a major overhaul of the first-responder telecommunication network.
His commitment to fiscal integrity resulted in many financial awards and consistently high bond ratings from prominent rating agencies. The administration’s focus on the infrastructure led to billions of dollars of investment in the sewer network and treatment facilities, as well as expansion or improvement of curbside recycling, bulky-item pickup, and other refuse services. An expansion of the waste-to-energy plant will increase electricity output, while plans are proceeding for the processing of green waste, food waste, and sewage sludge; the introduction of new disposal demonstration technology; and ash and residue use.
Meanwhile, the City’s aggressive road program resulted in repaved thoroughfares, filling of potholes, and tens of millions of dollars for additional resurfacing. An accelerated parks and public facilities effort led to repairs and maintenance of parks, gyms, golf courses, and the Blaisdell Center, as well as new attractions at the Honolulu Zoo.
In the digital technology arena, the City brought free wireless Internet service in public areas, City facilities, and parks; greatly expanded its catalog of online services; and earned national recognition for these accomplishments.
Hannemann, who has been a long-time advocate of economic development, was credited with playing a pivotal role in averting the closure of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard; greatly expanding public-private partnerships with business and community organizations; revitalizing Chinatown as an arts and culture district, which snagged Honolulu a national outstanding achievement award; supporting the development of the Disney resort in Ko Olina and Trump Tower in Waikiki; and advocating for the sports and film industries. He involved the City in supporting the agricultural industry by reducing property tax rates on farm land, curbing the theft of crops, collaborating with the Hawaii Farm Bureau on soil conservation, and opening a farmers market in downtown Honolulu.
On the environmental front, his 21st Century Ahupuaa program set forth near-term goals for energy and resource conservation and sustainability in City government. He was credited with driving a successful effort to reduce demands on Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, saving Waimea Valley from development, settling a long-standing management dispute involving the Kawai Nui Marsh, and expanding recycling. He resolved a long-standing dispute with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency involving the City’s waste water system.
He was active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he served as trustee and chairman of the group’s tourism committee and led the charge nationally among his mayoral colleagues to prioritize the arts and visitor industry.
Hannemann helped found the Hawaii Council of Mayors, the organization of the state’s four mayors that collaborates on inter-county issues, lobbies for state legislation, and works together on matters affecting local government. They also were members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where they pursued federal assistance for the counties of Hawaii.