Appointments reinforce Legislative effort to bring accountability to City’s rail project

Honolulu, Hawai‘i – Senate President Ron Kouchi and House Speaker Scott K. Saiki today named their four appointees to serve as Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) board members in compliance with the Legislature’s bill passed this summer to fund the City’s rail project.

The Legislature voted to provide funding to ensure the rail project is completed and federal funding is secured, and, importantly, included provisions to bring accountability to the most expensive public works project in Hawai‘i history.

The bill requires that the House Speaker and the Senate President each appoint two non-voting members to the HART board “to ensure the appropriate use of state authorized funds to finance a mass transit project.”

Speaker Saiki named Tobias “Toby” Martyn and Kamani Kuala‘au as his appointees to the board. “With the substantial amount of state funding going to this project, it is important that the state has a clear channel of information on project costs,” said Speaker Saiki. “Both Toby and Kamani have the experience and knowledge needed to understand the financial complexities of this huge endeavor.”

Martyn has more than 30 years of experience in asset management, institutional sales, trading and underwriting, and public finance. He is currently Vice President of Investments at Stifel and previously was Senior Executive Vice President of Investment Services Group at the Bank of Hawai‘i.

Kamani Kuala‘au is Senior Vice President at asset management firm Atalanta Sosnoff Capital,

where he manages accounts in the Asia/Pacific markets. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools and Princeton University, Kuala‘au began his career in finance at Public Financial Management, a national financial advisory firm dedicated to serving state and local governments. Kuala‘au is also the Chairman of King Lunalilo Trust and serves on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Hawai‘i and PBS Hawai‘i.

“I would like to thank both Toby and Kamani for the generous commitment of their time and energy to help ensure that rail costs are contained and well managed,” Saiki said.

Senate President Kouchi named Kalbert K. Young and Wesley Machida as his appointees to

the board. “It is hoped that the former and current state finance directors and their financial knowledge and experience will be a tremendous asset to the HART Board on an ongoing basis,” said Senate President Kouchi.

Kalbert K. Young is the University of Hawai‘i’s Chief Financial Affairs Officer, Mr. Young’s responsibilities include directing the university’s system wide financial management and budgetary functions. Prior to his current position with the University of Hawai‘i, Mr. Young was the State of Hawai‘i’s Director of Finance with the State of Hawai‘i Department of Budget & Finance (B&F) from 2011 thru 2014, and the Director of Finance for the County of Maui from 2004 thru 2010. Mr. Young has also served as a trustee of the State of Hawai‘i Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and as a trustee on the State of Hawai‘i Deferred Compensation Plan.

Wesley K. Machida is the current Director of Finance with the State of Hawai‘i’s Department of Budget and Finance. As the Director of Finance, Mr. Machida is responsible for administering the State budget and State debt, developing financial plans and strategies for the State, and overseeing the State Treasury.

By appointing Mr. Young and Mr. Machida as non-voting members of the HART Board, Senate President Kouchi added, "the State's and the University's involvement and input is critical to achieving rail's full potential as there are three of the twenty-one rail stations at or on University system wide campuses and the State is providing the funding and oversight for rail construction. Having both Mr. Machida and Mr. Young serving on the HART Board will ensure a strong tie in between HART, the City and County of Honolulu, the University of Hawai‘i and the State.”

Other oversight measures provided for in the Legislature’s bill include:

  • Establishment of a Mass Transit Special Fund to allocate funding. This fund adds transparency, enhances fiscal accountability and ensures the money is used only for capital costs.

  • The State Comptroller will review all costs incurred by HART.

  • Only after costs have been certified will the funds be released to the City and HART.

  • The State Auditor will conduct an audit and annual fiscal reviews of HART.


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