Right tone in apology

Mayor Alan Arakawa’s apology Friday for not getting the wording in the county budget changed before the demolition of the Old Wailuku Post Office struck just the right tone.

The mayor admitted the mistake and took responsibility for it.

As we have stated before, we absolutely believe the administration thought the council was on the same page and had been consulted and advised of the plans for the site. There is no evidence there was any deliberate attempt to usurp the council’s budget oversight function.

But the administration didn’t get a reference in the budget to using the funds for “rehabilitation” of the post office changed before proceeding with the demolition. As the mayor himself put it:

“When our discussions with the council changed the intent of the project, we should have followed up with the paperwork to reflect those changes.”

The mayor pledged that he and his staff are taking steps to make sure that the mistake is not repeated.

“I have already instructed my staff that all future communications between the administration and the council must be documented,” the mayor said. “Although we look forward to our one-on-one discussions with council members, we realize we cannot rely solely upon informal meetings. The record leading up to each decision must be clear and concise to minimize misunderstandings.”

The mayor asked the council to adopt budget amendments to clarify the funding for the demolition and the costs for the master planning work for the Kalana O Maui campus expansion project.

We’d second the mayor’s call for these actions so work can proceed on eliminating the $150,000 per month rent the county pays for office space.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.