Hannemann: 'Championed the little guy'
Mayor Mufi Hannemann paid tribute to Frank Fasi this afternoon, calling the late mayor a mentor and visionary who always fought for “the little guy.”
Hannemann said he kept in touch with Fasi over the years and invited him to the Honolulu City Lights festivities, which Fasi began while in office. Fasi made his last appearance at the festival last year.
Hannemann said Fasi was a man of his word and whether you agreed with his policies and decisions, you had to admire his courage and determination.
“Frank Fasi’s greatest contribution to public service is he really did his best to dispel the image, all too often associated with politicians, that they’re wishy washy, they flip flop, they don’t keep their word, they go by polls and public opinion as opposed to doing what is right,” Hannemann said. “Frank Fasi didn’t always do what was necessarily popular. He did what he felt was right. He did what was best to champion the little guy and that’s what I will miss most about him.”
Hannemann said Fasi was ahead of his time in many ways, whether it was beautifying Waikïkï to opening the satellite city halls and people’s open markets. He said Fasi will be remembered for other things, such as upgrading the city bus system, landscaping the city civic center area, and championing a light rail system for the city.
In 2006, the city renamed the municipal building and grounds the Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building and the Frank F. Fasi Civic Center.
“When you look around city hall or the city of Honolulu, everything good about our city Frank Fasi had a hand in it,” Hannemann said.
He added that he has offered the Fasi family the city’s facilities should the family want to hold a public service. Hannemann said Fasi was an astute politician who courted and won the affection of many minorities and immigrants in the islands and many would want to pay their respects to the man.
“His loss is something that is going to be very difficult for many in the community, including your present mayor,” Hannemann said.