Event costs are borne by promoter
We live in Portland, Ore., but visit Oahu and Maui about six times a year, including participating in the Honolulu Marathon. There's a big controversy in Portland regarding parades, marathons, triathlons, etc., in which it was revealed that the organizers only have to pay between $1,000 and $2,400 per event, with taxpayers having to pay almost $200,000 a year for police overtime, etc. How much do taxpayers have to pay for those events in Honolulu?
Answer: Unlike Portland, the City and County of Honolulu expects organizers to foot the entire cost of their events.
The city does not charge for a Parade/Special Event Permit, said Bill Brennan, spokesman for Mayor Hannemann's administration. But if the event is not a First Amendment or city-sponsored event, applicants are responsible for all costs.
That includes publicizing their events through various media, hiring special-duty police officers and paying for traffic control -- coning and signing of roadways, and for city personnel to monitor and make signal timing adjustments to minimize the impact on traffic.
In the case of a First Amendment event, such as the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade or Pride Parade, the city "foots the whole bill" to a maximum limit, Brennan said.
By a court decree settlement, the city is responsible for costs up to $2,500 per event, with a cap of $25,000 per calendar year, Brennan said.
"We have not exceeded the $2,500 cost for any event or reached the annual maximum cap," he said. "The typical cost for a First Amendment event will vary due to length of parade, duration and traffic control requirements."
Examples of a city event are the Honolulu City Lights Christmas Parade and King Kamehameha Day Floral Parade. For those events, "We pay for only what we commit ourselves to," he said.
In the case of the City Lights parade, traffic control costs are paid by others, while the city pays for police and city personnel.
It does not pay for the floats.
Regarding the advice on finding out comparable sales prices for homes in a neighborhood ("Kokua Line," Oct. 29): Checking the city's Web site regarding assessed value is basically akin to having the fox guard the chicken coop. To get comparable market sales around a certain property, people should contact a relative/friend Realtor. That information can show that sales have decreased (or increased) to substantiate the claim that the tax-assessed values should be lower. -- Fellow Realtor Broker
The city's public records on residential properties gives a homeowner an idea of the assessed value of his home and how it compares with other homes in the area. If the assessment appears out of line, retaining a Realtor might be the next step in contesting the assessment.
The Honolulu Board of Realtors posts general information on comparable sales prices for neighborhoods at www.hicentral.com/hbr-stat.asp.
Got a question or complaint?
Call 529-4773, fax 529-4750, or write to Kokua Line, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu 96813. As many as possible will be answered. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
. See also: Useful phone numbers