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Honolulu City and County Blatantly Promotes Hawaii Chamber of Commerce Agenda Opposing Army Restructuring on Oahu

Rubber stamped by the Honolulu Ethics Commission

By Col. (retired) AL Frenzel

AL Frenzel is a former U.S. Army War College Faculty Instructor, specializing in logistics and force restructuring. He is a key member of the Oahu Council for Army Downsizing (OCAD)

Dec 23, 2014

The OCAD recently complained to the City and County of Honolulu Ethics Commission that City and County resources (facilities and personnel) are being used at Satellite City Halls to wrongfully promote (in our opinion) the Chamber of Commerce's Petition against Army Downsizing on Oahu. We assumed this was a "no brainer" complaint and the Mayor's office would be advised to cease and desist it's anti-downsizing activities.

It might come to a shock to you that the Ethics Commission decided THAT IT IS OKAY for the City and County to use facilities and personnel to sponsor the Chamber of Commerce’s petition and private interest in an issue that costs us millions of dollars per year in direct and indirect costs. Even the Army admits that only 16% of the $1.3 Billion is realized by the local community or only $208 Million, which is much less than it costs us as State taxpayers to host the Army on Oahu ($649 M/year). And this doesn’t include the Billions in resources tied up by the Army that could return to Hawaii if the downsizing occurs on Oahu. So the "community wide benefit" of the Chamber's petition as seen by City and County Ethics Commission does not outweigh the millions in net costs and Billions in opportunities the Mayor is ignoring. This is absolutely outrageous.

“Community wide benefit” is in the eyes of the beholder, which in this case happens to be a few businesses (again, in our opinion) with influence over the Chamber of Commerce and evidently the Mayor as well – a very poor decision by Mr. Totto (Executive Director and Legal Counsel).

Contact Mr. Totto at:

AL Frenzel


Email received Tuesday, December 23, 2014 2:23 PM from Laurie A. Wong, associate legal counsel at the Honolulu Ethics Commission:

Aloha Al,

Thank you for the additional information. Attached [see KHH CoSponsor.pdf below] is the documentation I received from the Mayor's Office. I ran it by Chuck, (the Commission’s Executive Director and Legal Counsel) and he agreed that this project “Keep Hawaii’s Heroes” falls into the "project with community wide benefit" exception which allows for the use of city resources to support certain charitable/non-profit projects that I had mentioned to you in my email below. I understand that there are differing viewpoints about the military’s presence in Hawaii, but the Mayor’s directives to use city resources for this project is within the parameters of the city's ethics laws. Below is the link to the Commission’s Guidelines on the Use of City Resources which describes the limitations and exceptions on the use of city resources in more detail.

Aloha and Happy Holidays!


KHH CoSponsor.pdf46.25 KB