By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Twenty days after Honolulu mayor Peter Carlisle signed a law enabling the city to impound public property stored in public places, the law has yet to be enforced.
Ordinance 11-29 (formerly Bill 54) is aimed at keeping public places free of clutter and accessible to all by allowing the city to remove personal items. Under the law the city must provide 24-hours written notice instructing that items be removed. If the items are still there 24-hours later, they can be impounded. Property owners have 30 days to reclaim their items.
In mid-December Moiliili resident Christal Cuadra asked the city to clear the sidewalk along King Street fronting Old Stadium Park of personal property belonging to homeless people living there. She told Hawaii News Now someone in city government told her the problem would be addressed within ten days. Wednesday, December 28 was the tenth working day. The items are still on the sidewalk. The homeless who live there say they have not been given notice to remove anything.
Greg Cuadra, Christal's father, told Hawaii News Now the inaction is both frustrating and disappointing.
The homeless are happy for the reprieve, but expected to be rousted soon after the New Year begins.
"The police have come down here and told us they are not going to begin enforcing the law until the first (January 1, 2012), but like I said someone told me that the police are saying this is too big a job for them - that they have other things that are more important than inventorying our stuff," said a homeless woman named Kim.
She said when she is told to remove her belongings; she'll likely relocate across the street. "I got 24 hours to move over here," she said while pointing across the street. "Then I'm going to move over there. I mean it's ridiculous. It's a game of cat and mouse and like I said, they haven't really thought it through and they are not solving the problem."
Problem solved or not, the folks living on the King Street sidewalk expect the law to be tested very soon.