A Message From Chair Ernie Martin
From ErnieMartin.org, June 6, 2016
Ever since I ran for office six years ago to join the Honolulu City Council, I believed that it was possible to be in politics to do the right thing and not to fulfill a personal ambition. As a father and a husband, I wanted to make a difference for my family and for everyone in my District. I also believe in serving my community and doing what was best for them and I have worked diligently during my time in office to be responsive to everyone while not shying away from making hard and controversial decisions.
When I entered public service over 30 years ago as an assistant groundskeeper trainee working for the City and County of Honolulu, I could never have imagined that my life would take me to serving as the Chair and Presiding Officer of the Honolulu City Council. I feel incredibly blessed and humbled by this journey.
In the last few months I have been reflecting on my journey and what was next for me. Facing the hard question of doing what I felt was right or fulfilling a personal ambition. As I have always done, today, I choose to do the right thing -- I will not be seeking the office of Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu at this time and will commit to completing my term on the Honolulu City Council.
I believe that this is the right course of action given the numerous challenges facing Honolulu. As the Chair and Presiding Officer of the Honolulu City Council, I have taken the lead in ensuring that the rail project is accountable to how it spends our money and advocated for innovative and community-based solutions in addressing our homelessness crisis. To step-aside for my personal ambitions at a time when these issues continue to demand true leadership would be selfish.
I firmly believe that I can best serve my community as a member of the Honolulu City Council and continue to lead the City through these challenges in a direct and fiscally responsible manner. While I have great respect for the office of the Mayor, as I have always stated -- it is the Honolulu City Council that provides the critical balance in examining the plans and actions of that office and in the absence of solid and substantive initiatives, providing leadership to ensure that the resources of the City are judiciously spent in pursuit of a better future for our people is a responsibility that cannot be abandoned for personal ambition.
In closing, I want to thank my family, friends, colleagues and supporters for their faith and loyalty -- - you have my commitment that I will continue to honor the privilege that you have given me to serve you as a member of the Honolulu City Council.
Caldwell issued the following statement: “I know it was a difficult decision to make, but I appreciate Chair Martin’s careful consideration and I look forward to working with him over the next two years that he will serve on the Council. We have a number of critical issues before both the administrative and legislative branches on which we will need strong collaboration. The Chair has an important role to play at the Council.”