HONOLULU (KHON2) — Three new Honolulu City Council members took the oaths of office Tuesday, Jan. 3; and with important issues rolling over from last year, they already have their hands full. 

It was a continuation of leadership at the Honolulu City Council. Chair Tommy Waters and Vice Chair Esther Kiaaina resumed their roles. Chair Waters reminded the public about their responsibility in the council during his remarks at the council’s inauguration ceremony. 

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Waters said, “Keep this in mind. Our kuleana, foremost, is to malama, care and protect this island and its people.”

Council member Radian Cordero, who is in her first term, was chosen as floor leader. Cordero was one of the council members who gained new constituents from Halawa and Aiea under the City’s reapportionment. 

“With reapportionment, people are learning that they have new councilmembers. So, people are not just concerned; but they want to learn. How did this happen?” Cordero said. “Who is their new council member? What are their values and how can they work with them now?”

Councilmembers Val Okimoto, Tyler Dos Santos-Tam and Matt Weyer took their oaths of office on Tuesday. 

Weyer, who represents district two which includes the North Shore, said part of his role will be speaking on the impacts tourism has had on the North Shore’s infrastructure. He had been an active member of the neighborhood board before his election. 

Weyer said, “Being a member of the neighborhood board for the past several years now, I think that it’s important that elected officials come into the community.”

Okimoto was selected as the Committee on Public Safety Chair, and the safety of the community was a major issue during her campaign. 

Okimoto said, “I look forward to being the voice of many community members are not being heard many times.”

Late last year, the Honolulu Police Department began issuing concealed carry gun permits. The freshman council members will soon pick up the issue of where concealed firearms will be allowed in the City. 

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Dos Santos-Tam said, “There’s a lot of issues that we need to tackle pretty immediately.”