Kim won’t OK Big Isle park smoking ban
HILO » Big Island Mayor Harry Kim says he will not sign off on a proposal to ban smoking at Big Island beach parks and recreation facilities.
Kim has until tomorrow to either veto the bill, which was approved by the Hawaii County Council, or allow it to become law without his signature.
Oahu's Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and the Big Island's Kahaluu Beach Park are already smoke free, but the bill would be the first islandwide park smoking ban in the state.
Council Chairman Pete Hoffmann didn't say whether he would initiate a veto override attempt if the bill was vetoed.
The nine-member council could override a veto with a two-thirds vote. The council voted 7-2 last month in favor of the ban.
Hoffmann said a majority of residents who testified on the issue favored the ban and that resonated with a majority of the council.
In a March letter to the council, Kim said the bill is "impractical and inconsistent with other government policies on smoking." He was also concerned with enforcement issues.
In addition to parks and beaches, the measure would also ban smoking at the municipal golf course, rodeo arenas and the Hilo drag strip.
Councilman J Yoshimoto submitted the bill primarily because of the dangers of secondhand smoke and to keep the grounds at county parks free of cigarette butts.
Kim said a littering law already addresses the problem of tossing butts on the ground.
The Kim administration had suggested the council consider a limited ban, designated smoking areas and butt-disposal containers.