Ask the Mayor: January 13, 2014 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ask the Mayor: January 13, 2014

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Editor's note:
In our first "Ask the Mayor" segment of the year, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell appeared on Hawaii News Now Sunrise to address questions that viewers had on Facebook. Such questions included when the Koko Head Shooting Range would open, if fireworks would become legal on Oahu again and how much progress has been made to the rail system.

After his appearance, Caldwell took some time to answer other questions that had not been broadcasted on air. 

Amanda Cazares:
Why is our vehicle registration so high yet our roads are so bad? Where does that money go? Please fix the POTHOLES in Kaimuki on Waialae!

Mayor Caldwell:
"Our vehicle registration fees went up prior to becoming mayor. However, we are repaving more roads than ever. In 2013, almost 400 lane miles of roads have been repaved: an all-time record for Oahu. We will continue to pave a minimum of 300 lane miles each year for the next four years and achieve our goal of repaving 1,500 lane miles of degraded roads on this island. That should be the longterm solution to our numerous potholes."

May Goya:
Please take a walk down Kalakaua and Kapahulu Avenues any morning. You will see homeless men asleep on the sidewalk or if they are "up," congregated and drinking out of used cups. Right in front of Starbucks. Further down Kalakaua, there will be other men sitting around with nothing to do.
I understand the dilemma of "what to do" but the worst thing is doing nothing. Can't the police walk around more? Or have social services walk around and talk story to find out what would work for them? Anything! Because on this stretch, Waikiki looks horrible both for residents and visitors.
Just take a walk one morning!

Mayor Caldwell:
"I agree with the visual impact that you've described and I'm deeply concerned by it. We've ramped up our sidewalk nuisance and stored property enforcement efforts in areas in Waikiki, but the problem persists. We're not going to stop and we're looking at ways to do it better. In the meantime, I will be meeting with our homeless providers and asking them for additional solutions to address the problems you've described."

Ruben Ben Tolentino:
Can you please have toilets in Chinatown so the streets don't smell like one? Or the sidewalks and parking garages?

Mayor Caldwell:
 "This is an ongoing discussion in Chinatown. The biggest impediment to putting bathrooms in Chinatown is ensuring the public safety when they're using the bathrooms. If we can address that issue, the next step is to find a location and the funding to install such a bathroom. There is a bathroom that the public can use at the police substation in Chinatown and the police make sure that that bathroom is safe."

Roger Hasegawa:
When are you planning to tour our the Parks and Recreation facilities with your director and councilperson? Many of our district park facilities are aged and in need of repair. Many of the latrines need upgrades and extensive cleanup. Your administration is doing great on potholes and attending to the homeless, but the park facilities that our seniors and youth utilize need your support also.

Mayor Caldwell:
"I've toured many of the Parks and Recreation facilities with our director of Parks and Recreation, along with district staff for those parks. I will continue to do so. I've made parks one of our five priorities of the administartion and have dedicated funding and additional resources to ensure that our parks look different and our park users find new venues of enjoyment. This doesn't mean that there isn't a lot more work to be done, but I'm committed to doing it."

Mohamed Traore:
Investigate Board of Water Supply. I don't believe a word how they charge.

Mayor Caldwell:
"The city auditor is investigating the Board of Water Supply billing practices and I support this investigation. Once the investigation is completed, I will look to see what recommendations are made to improve the services of the BOWS. What occurred is unacceptable."

Amy Humble Fisher:
I would like to know his plans for road repairs since I am still driving on awful pot hole-filled roads and as a result, my car needs front-end suspension work that I cannot afford as a social worker.

Mayor Caldwell:
"The City and County of Honolulu has 3,500 lane miles of roads on Oahu. The state has about 2,500. The City roads are the smaller side roads. The main roads like the Pali Highway, Likelike, Kamehameha Highway, and the freeways are state roads. About 1,500 lane miles of city roads are substandard. We have set a goal of paving 300 lane miles every year for the next five years to repave those 1,500 substandard roads. To date, we have paved almost 400 lane miles all in one year, exceeding our goal by almost 100 miles. We will continue to push forward and hopefully exceed our goal of 300 miles each year so we get the job done sooner. We appreciate your patience."

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