Don’t make city hall a Ronald McMayor House

Peter Carlisle’s tenure as Mayor-elect is certainly off to an interesting start.

He raised a few eyebrows yesterday by naming Douglas Chin, his former first deputy city prosecutor, to be managing director, responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the city.

There are concerns about having two people at the top of city government with no experience in nuts-and-bolts operations, but I believe a chief executive should have latitude in choosing his No. 2 and withhold judgment until there’s more information about Chin and the qualities he brings to the job.

I’m not withholding judgment on the bizarre joint press conference Carlisle and acting Mayor Kirk Caldwell held at Honolulu Hale; I’m totally baffled as to why they called it.

It was supposed to show that there’ll be a smooth transition until Carlisle is sworn in Oct. 8, but before the press conference ended, they argued about where Carlisle’s transition office will be, whether he can start moving his stuff into the mayor’s office before his swearing-in and the disciplining of a secretary who showed him around.

Carlisle could be seen rolling his eyes in the background as Caldwell spoke. Didn’t they talk things over before assembling the media?

In the end, Carlisle turned down Caldwell’s offer of transition office space, saying it “reeked of asbestos.” Instead, he set up camp on folding tables in the city hall courtyard and mugged for the cameras.

Carlisle’s informality and sense of humor are among his most engaging qualities, but this isn’t the time to clown around.

He was rapidly losing voter support in the weeks before the election, barely squeaking by Caldwell in the end. Now he needs to show constituents that he takes the job seriously and is capable of putting together his administration in an organized and professional manner.

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2 Comments on “Don’t make city hall a Ronald McMayor House”

  1. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    No class so far from the mayor-elect. Wonder what he’ll be like once he actually takes the oath. First order of business: Punish his prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro for badmouthing his tenure during the campaign.

  2. Michael Says:

    This is more like “Burger King” where he wants it his way. Will he be known as the Clown who runs City Hall?

    Where’s the old lady who says, Where’s the Beef?


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