STAR-BULLETIN / JUNE 2001
Bill 71 proposes to ban street entertainers from performing from 7 to 10 nightly along a five-block stretch of Kalakaua Avenue in Waikiki. Here, Tristan Cody Hord has fun with the "Silverman" on Kalakaua Avenue.
Expediting street performer ban opposed
The mayor does not want the bill to skip committee hearings before a Council vote
The Waikiki street performers bill should not be placed on the fast track to a final City Council vote, Mayor Mufi Hannemann said this week.
"I guess I'm trying to figure out what's the rush to get this out," Hannemann said.
Bill 71 proposes to ban jugglers, mimes and other street entertainers in Waikiki from performing from 7 to 10 nightly along a five-block stretch of Kalakaua Avenue.
The measure cleared its second of three required Council approvals on Dec. 7 and would normally go back to committee before heading to the Council floor for a final vote. The next round of committee hearings is slated for January.
Councilman Charles Djou, whose Executive Matters and Legal Matters Committee has jurisdiction over the measure, which he introduced, waived the bill past its final committee.
It is now scheduled for the final Council vote Tuesday during a special meeting, with several issues on the agenda.
Djou said he waived the bill through his committee because he does not believe that the facts or testimony in this issue will change with another committee meeting.
"I do not see any reason to delay this important public safety measure, and the faster we can go in to do something ... the better," said Djou, who represents Waikiki.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii, which opposes the bill, could not be reached for comment yesterday.
But Hannemann said that he does not think it is out of line that the ACLU has asked that the vote be put off for another month.
Hannemann said the city also has two experts who cannot make next week's meeting.
"This buttresses the argument of the ACLU that they wanted more time," the mayor said.
Hannemann, a former Council member, said it is always better with a controversial issue to carry it through the entire Council process.
Hannemann stopped short of saying that he would veto the bill if it were approved without going through the final committee meeting, but he said he has concerns, especially with the threat of a lawsuit by the ACLU hanging over the city.
"The ACLU ... has been saying they're going to sue us, they're going to take us to court. Why give them further fuel and further ammo in a lawsuit?" Hannemann said.
Djou said he has tried to reach a compromise but has been unsuccessful. "The ACLU is going to sue us whether or not we do this in December, January or next year."