HONOLULU(KHON2) — There is a new Mayor in town. Rick Blangiardi, along with 22 of his cabinet members, were sworn in at Honolulu Hale on Saturday, Dec. 2, in a small ceremony closed to the public due to the pandemic.

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Blangiardi addressed the small crowd of his appointees and the press as the 15th mayor of Honolulu.

“I’ve got to say congratulations and thanks to all of you because this is our beginning,” Blangiardi said.

The new mayor did not address the myriad challenges he and his cabinet will face, instead he shared his appreciation and a message of hope for the future.

“We all know we have very big jobs and very big responsibilities,” he said. “I have found in my life if you can collect enough passionate people with skill sets who have proven that great things happen and clearly we need to anticipate making great things happen together. “

“I look forward to what we’re going to create. God bless you and happy new year,” Blangiardi said as he stepped away from the podium. His final words were met with applause.

He will be dealing with rebuilding the economy, curbing the growing homeless problem, addressing Honolulu Rail woes, continuing health concerns surrounding the pandemic and a number of other pressing issues now that he is in office.

Blangiardi declined to comment on how he plans to tackle the mountain of problems, but in a previous interview with KHON2, he shared his desire to be open-minded while looking for solutions.

“I would be in support of anything that ensures the psychology of our people safety: because that is the biggest fear,” Blangiardi said. “So anything that will help promote that I’m going to be in favor of. At the same time, saying if we do that then maybe perhaps we could start evolving here more as people knowing for awhile this disease is going to be around for a long time.”

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