Hannemann vows to build administration with unity

Honolulu Star-Bulletin
By Crystal Kua
ckua@starbulletin.com

RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mufi Hannemann greeted supporters at his Dole Cannery Square headquarters late Tuesday after the third election printout showed him winning the mayoral election.

The mayor-elect will soon select a new Cabinet

E Komo Mai. Welcome.

As Mufi Hannemann begins the transition of becoming Honolulu’s next mayor, he says: “The philosophy is going to be exactly what I said in the campaign. I say, ‘Komo mai,’ welcome to anyone who wants to be part of our administration.

Text excerpted from below:
Hannemann said he will talk to Harris about not moving forward with the planned construction at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium project, which he brought up during the campaign.

“I think there are a lot of issues that Mayor Harris and I will have discussion on. I’m sure that’ll come up,” Hannemann said.

“It doesn’t matter to me what party you belong to, whether you voted for me or not. I just want to know that you’re competent, you’re qualified, your heart’s in the right place and you’re ethical.”

In his first news conference as Honolulu’s mayor-elect, Hannemann also talked about the issues that he and Mayor Jeremy Harris will likely discuss in the transition process and how he will bring supporters of challenger Duke Bainum into the fold of his administration.

Hannemann said he will set up a formal process to begin selecting a new Cabinet.

He is hoping to get an office at City Hall to begin the transition process, but if not, he will handle the transition out of his campaign headquarters at Dole Cannery in Iwilei.

He is asking people not to call until the process is set up, but they are welcome.

Harris called Hannemann yesterday to congratulate him and to arrange for transitional meetings.

Harris said he will arrange for briefings by key departments for Hannemann’s new appointees.

Harris said one of the biggest hurdles for Hannemann will be to find qualified appointees willing to give up high-paying jobs in the private sector and undergo the scrutiny of public service with the city.

“The key challenge he’s going to face is being able to attract the very best to the government, with all of the drawbacks,” Harris said.

Hannemann said he will also reach out to those who supported Bainum during the campaign.

“(Bainum) got a significant amount of votes, and he campaigned on some themes that people obviously wanted to hear about, so I believe it behooves me to reach out to them and I will,” Hannemann said. “I want to be a leader who unites rather than divides.”

That includes also reaching out to those on the City Council who supported Bainum, including Councilman Gary Okino.

“I don’t think I’ll have a problem working with Gary Okino. I’m going to respect the fact that he was elected in a Council district that I represented,” Hannemann said. “I’m sure Mr. Okino will have good ideas, like (Councilwoman) Ann Kobayashi has good ideas. I’m all about wanting to work with the Council.”

Okino said he will also work toward that goal.

“If it’s actually coming to the middle and working together, of course, but it has to be a cooperative kind of thing,” he said.

Council Chairman Donovan Dela Cruz said that because Hannemann is a former councilman and Council chairman, he will be able to understand the position of the Council. “It’s refreshing that the mayor-elect will respect and appreciate the legislative function.”

Harris said he hopes that Hannemann continues with the curbside recycling project that the mayor has already started.

Hannemann said he will talk to Harris about not moving forward with the planned construction at the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium project, which he brought up during the campaign.

“I think there are a lot of issues that Mayor Harris and I will have discussion on. I’m sure that’ll come up,” Hannemann said.

About 3 a.m. yesterday at a Waikiki restaurant, Hannemann was eating breakfast when he got word that he was elected the new mayor of Honolulu.

A ballot-counting snafu — more than 5,000 uncounted absentee ballots — resulted in Hannemann waiting several hours to find out if the results that put him on top in the mayor’s race would stand.