Bill could put Fasi name on city facility
Current ordinances allow such naming honors only for deceased people
Former Mayor Frank Fasi may get to see a building or city service named after him.
The City Council is expected to vote on a bill later this month allowing the city to name a park or other facility after the former Honolulu mayor while he's still living.
Currently, city ordinances permit a city facility to be named only for a deceased individual.
The bill also would allow such an honor to be bestowed upon living "former council members," an addition that struck some current council members as indefensible.
"Kind of tacky," Councilman Romy Cachola said of the reference to council members. "I don't want to create an impression that elected officials are only what we are thinking about."
The legislation is being pursued by Mayor Mufi Hannemann. Fasi supported Hannemann's mayoral bids in 2000 and 2004.
Since being elected mayor in 2004, Hannemann has included Fasi in several city celebrations.
After Fasi was eliminated in the primary of the 2004 election, he announced he wouldn't run again.
Council members said they had no idea until yesterday's meeting that the bill was aimed at Fasi and they have no objections to him being honored this way.
Zoning Chairwoman Barbara Marshall said she was under the impression that the bill was on a fast track because Fasi may be ill.
But Fasi's wife, Joyce, said her 85-year-old husband recently had a checkup "and all the tests were negative. ... He's just getting a little older."
She said they didn't know about the bill, either.
"Of course, he'll be honored. ... He's done so much and he's built so many things."
City Managing Director Jeff Coelho said several facilities have been considered appropriate to bear Fasi's name, including the Honolulu Municipal Building, a satellite city hall or the Handi-Van system.
"I don't think a decision has been made," Coelho said. "He obviously created a lot of benefits for Honolulu, so there's a lot to choose from."
Cachola and Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi said they also have no problem honoring Fasi.
But they cannot support a bill if it grants an exception only for elected officials -- especially if it includes council members.
Kobayashi said elected officials are always singled out for special recognition. "And that's what I don't like," she said.
"There might be a lot of living nonelected officials who are deserving," Cachola said after a meeting of the council's zoning committee, which moved the bill for a full vote on Jan. 25.
Marshall said she doesn't like council members being in the bill, but she also doesn't want to "open a can of worms" by allowing all living people to be considered in the naming of a city facility.