May 19, 2021


Beyond law

Hanabusa Awarded $200K HART Consulting Deal

Former Hawaii Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa is returning to Honolulu’s rail undertaking, this time as an outdoors advisor to help the neighborhood rail agency’s board as it seeks to close the most recent, multibillion dollar funding hole.

Hanabusa formerly served as board chairwoman for the Honolulu Authority for Speedy Transportation, a volunteer post. On Tuesday, the agency awarded her an 18-month contract, valued at $216,000, to assist the board “in the growth and implementation of small and lengthy-expression funding strategies” for the nearby transit undertaking.

“Obviously we have a funding shortfall. We require to properly converse with the state Legislature, we have to have to fix that problem,” HART Main Functions Officer Rick Keene explained at a HART board conference in March. Hanabusa will fill that purpose and work as a liaison with metropolis leaders as very well beneath the new deal.

Hanabusa could receive up to $924,000 in excess of 6 a long time if her agreement is prolonged, according to HART officials.

Colleen Hanabusa is returning to HART, this time as a board advisor who will provide as a liaison to city and point out leaders even though rail faces a renewed multibillion-dollar deficit. Cory Lum/Civil Conquer

The skills sought in the ask for for proposals from rivals trying to find the award were being slender. HART sought somebody with a legislation diploma and 20 several years of knowledge training regulation, at least 10 many years of expertise at either the city and county or point out amount of authorities “in legislation and coverage building,” and a minimum of 5 yrs of encounter at the federal govt stage in legislation and policy earning.

Hanabusa, a longtime labor lawyer who served in the Legislature and in the U.S. Congress, met those skills. She was the only bidder, according to HART officers. She was not immediately available for comment Wednesday.

HART is also seeking to employ the service of an extra liaison to do the job with federal leaders.

The employing arrives just after HART management less than Interim Executive Director Lori Kahikina purged almost fifty percent of HART’s personnel in an attempt to remove redundancies and inefficiencies at the company. Kahikina has also explained the move aims to demonstrate that HART is inclined to make its possess steep cuts for personal savings if rail leaders finally seek extra funding.

At the board’s conference past thirty day period, board member Kika Bukoski questioned the will need for the local liaison agreement.

Our main responsibility shouldn’t be to be lobbying for funding,” Bukoski said on March 18. “Our main responsibility is to construct and acquire the rail, although I concur that we need to support” initiatives to get more funding.

Bukoski’s colleague on the board, Hoyt Zia, acknowledged HART’s background of having to pay consultants “vast amounts of income for questionable services” and stated that “no total is also small” to slash.

However, Zia stated “there are some factors that are necessary and beneficial and justified and I feel these two (point out and federal consulting) positions … are pretty important” to enable establish and manage relationships on the state and federal level.

Read the scope of services in the ask for for proposal, such as the skills required, right here:

Read HART’s award letter to Hanabusa listed here: