City leaders meet with west side residents in the first town hall

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – More than two dozen city leaders answered questions from the public tonight in Ewa Beach.

Officials of more than 20 city departments were present in the first hall of the mayor.

“As a team, we’re excited to learn from you and work with you,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi.

They were ready to answer all the questions of the residents of the west side.

About 180 people filled the Eva Makai High School cafeteria on Tuesday night.

“It’s so exciting to see you all here,” said one Eva Beach resident. “You’re moving our city, you’re doing a good job.” The mayor and his team discussed the integration of the rail and bus system that will soon begin running from Kapolei to Aloha Stadium.

Mike Formby, the city’s executive director, said they are also closer to developing Varona Village.

And residents lined up with questions and concerns, like taxes.

“Somebody needs to step forward and put some shelters on our property taxes. “Just because housing is more expensive on Oahu, you can’t spend more money,” said one Ewa Beach resident. “You have to be able to find the dollar amount; interest can drive it up.”

Andrew Kavanaugh, director of the Department of Budget and city ​​tax service. “We’re also looking at lower income taxes.”

Some residents have asked the city to reconsider plans to extend Makakilo Drive.

“You have to work with OMPO members and get them to prioritize this project. Otherwise, it will never get to the top of the list and actually get budgeted,” Formby said. “So we’re happy that let’s talk to you about it.”

Another hot topic was homelessness.

Officials said they are interested in building more housing and getting people off the streets.

Residents are waiting for the result.

“I’m seeing an increase and that’s a big concern for me because I don’t want to see our community become as troubled as some of these other places,” said Mike Kitchens of Stolen Property in Hawaii. “And I think that’s a big problem.”

“The key for us is just having different services, beds and facilities to serve those decisions,” said director of community services Anton Kruki. “And so we recently met with Councilmember Tupola about something to do here in Kapolei and that area to kind of relax.”

The next town hall is Thursday at Waianae Park District from 7-9 p.m

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