Bunda a curious choice for transit authority
The plan of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation to appoint former state Sen. Robert Bunda as its final voting member is baffling.
Previous appointments to HART by Mayor Peter Carlisle and the City Council were politically connected people with zero experience running a commuter rail system.
No personal knock on Bunda, who was a decent legislator, but to fail to fill the void in transit expertise with the final appointment and instead name a veteran politician makes a mockery of the intended purpose of HART to take politics out of the running of the city’s $5.3 million rail project.
Making matters worse, the transit authority is refusing to reveal the names of the 16 applicants for the job so that the public can judge for itself whether Bunda was the most appropriate choice.
It seems that every time those overseeing rail have an opportunity to reassure the public that the project is being run on the up and up, they do the opposite.
It bodes ill for the most important appointment before the board — executive director — for which HART is supposedly undertaking a nationwide search to fill the vital post held on an interim basis by Toru Hamayasu.
HART will hear public testimony and make a final decision on the Bunda appointment Sept. 16.