The commentary below was published in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on January 9, 2004

Blame the mayor for those big potholes

The recent heavy rains didn't create all the potholes (Star-Bulletin, Jan. 6). The potholes were already there; the rains just made them bigger and deeper. Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris has neglected our city roads since he was first elected in 1994. See Chart Last year the Surface Transportation Policy Project cited Hawaii with the worst-maintained roads in the nation.

Neither were the recent rains the sole cause of all the sewage spills. Again, Harris has failed to maintain the city sewer system. According to City Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, the city now faces more than $1 billion in required sewer repair and maintenance on existing infrastructure. But there's no money left in the sewer fund because the Harris administration raided it for other projects.

Harris' term will expire at the end of this year. What will his legacy be? A city with a crumbling, Third World infrastructure?

John Pritchett

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