Sunset and Brunch
on Beach need sponsors
Hannemann won't use
public money to cover
the events after 2005
The city will no longer use taxpayers' money to pay for the popular Sunset on the Beach and Brunch on the Beach programs in Waikiki after this year, Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced yesterday.
"That's what we're working towards, the (2006) calendar year -- that they'll be picked up entirely by the private sector," Hannemann said. "But we've taken the step in that direction by reducing the amount that the city previously would give to these events."
Hannemann said the Waikiki Improvement Association will assume a greater share of the cost for Brunch and Sunset by getting more sponsorship from the private sector.
"We see these events as being ongoing attractions, certainly a great amenity for our visitor and an opportunity for our residents to enjoy the beauty and the hospitality of Waikiki," said Rick Egged, executive director of the Waikiki Improvement Association.
Sunset and Brunch on the Beach have been popular with visitors and residents who flock to Waikiki Beach for food, entertainment and a movie.
But members of the City Council have clashed with former Mayor Jeremy Harris' administration over getting an accounting of the event, including labor costs. At one time the city was holding the event weekly.
"I am convinced that these are events that are worthy of city sponsorship, as long as we are reducing the city funding for that," Hannemann said.
The number of Sunset events will be decreased this year to 24 from 35, and Brunch events will go to four from 11. Hannemann said that means there will be two Sunset events a month and one Brunch program a quarter.
Beginning this year, services that used to be performed by city personnel -- setting up chairs and tables, trash pickup and police security -- will be done by employees of private companies. That alone will save the city nearly $230,000 in labor costs, the mayor said.
"You won't see my Cabinet people out there, the way the previous administration would have them on weekends," Hannemann said.
The city will continue to use money already appropriated for the events for the remainder of this year: $160,000 for Sunset events and $75,000 for Brunch programs scheduled.
The total budget, including private-sector support, is $536,600 for Sunset and $167,000 for Brunch.
Hannemann said the city could use grants from the Hawaii Tourism Authority to help fund the events, but no city revenues will be used.
He said he would continue to take the Sunset program to areas outside Waikiki in Sunset in the Park series scheduled for Schofield, Haleiwa, Waianae, Waimanalo and Kapolei, with the Hawaii Tourism Authority underwriting the $18,000 cost for each event.