Mufi Hannemann served as the 12th mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, the 13th largest municipality in the United States. He took office in January 2005 and was reelected resoundingly, with an 80-percent public approval rating, to a second term that began in January 2009.
As mayor, Hannemann amassed a remarkable record of achievement. He led the development of Oahu’s first rail transit system, which is poised to break ground soon. His strong emphasis on public safety led to Honolulu being named by the FBI as one of America’s safest big cities, accreditation of both the police and fire departments, additions to the fleet of fire engines and police cars, repairs to fire houses, establishment of a Department of Emergency Management, expanded ambulance facilities, and a major overhaul of the first-responder telecommunication network.
His commitment to fiscal integrity resulted in many financial awards and consistently high bond ratings from prominent rating agencies. The administration’s focus on the infrastructure led to billions of dollars of investment in the sewer network and treatment facilities, as well as expansion or improvement of curbside recycling, bulky-item pickup, and other refuse services. An expansion of the waste-to-energy plant will increase electricity output, while plans are proceeding for the processing of green waste, food waste, and sewage sludge; the introduction of new disposal demonstration technology; and ash and residue use.
Meanwhile, the City’s aggressive road program resulted in repaved thoroughfares, filling of potholes, and tens of millions of dollars for additional resurfacing. An accelerated parks and public facilities effort led to repairs and maintenance of parks, gyms, golf courses, and the Blaisdell Center, as well as new attractions at the Honolulu Zoo.
In the digital technology arena, the City brought free wireless Internet service in public areas, City facilities, and parks; greatly expanded its catalog of online services; and earned national recognition for these accomplishments.
Hannemann, who has been a long-time advocate of economic development, was credited with playing a pivotal role in averting the closure of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard; greatly expanding public-private partnerships with business and community organizations; revitalizing Chinatown as an arts and culture district, which snagged Honolulu a national outstanding achievement award; supporting the development of the Disney resort in Ko Olina and Trump Tower in Waikiki; and advocating for the sports and film industries. He involved the City in supporting the agricultural industry by reducing property tax rates on farm land, curbing the theft of crops, collaborating with the Hawaii Farm Bureau on soil conservation, and opening a farmers market in downtown Honolulu.
On the environmental front, his 21st Century Ahupuaa program set forth near-term goals for energy and resource conservation and sustainability in City government. He was credited with driving a successful effort to reduce demands on Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, saving Waimea Valley from development, settling a long-standing management dispute involving the Kawai Nui Marsh, and expanding recycling. He resolved a long-standing dispute with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency involving the City’s waste water system.
He was active in the U.S. Conference of Mayors, where he served as trustee and chairman of the group’s tourism committee and led the charge nationally among his mayoral colleagues to prioritize the arts and visitor industry. Continue »