Caldwell to deliver State of the City on Wednesday morning

Caldwell previews State of the City, says parks to be a priority
Published: Feb. 26, 2014 at 10:00 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - (Note: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell's second State of the City address is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. It can be seen in it's entirety on KFVE or by watching Hawaii News Now on your computer: or on a cell phone, tablet or mobile device: 

When Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell delivers his second State of the City address today, it won't be at Honolulu Hale, or even Kapolei Hale in the  "Second City." For the first time, it will be delivered at McCoy Pavilion at Ala Moana Park.

Caldwell said the setting will highlight a priority that he discussed in last year's address, when he proposed $3 million to improve the park, which he called Honolulu's "People's  Park."

"One of our priorities is our parks, and so we want to bring our focus to this incredible park, and show that we're not just talking about it, we're talking it," he said. "We're looking to upgrade our parks all around our island. They're our front doors, they're our crown jewels."

Another holdover from last year's address will be a  focus on Oahu's roads.

"We have some of the worst roads in the entire country," said Caldwell. "People complained all the time, and as you know, we have repaved lane mile after lane mile after lane mile, hundreds of lane miles."

Caldwell said he intends to have even more miles repaved over the next three years.

Earlier this month, the administration proposed a $10 a month fee for city trash and recyclable pickup as one way to make up a shortfall in the city budget.

City Council Budget Chair Ann Kobayashi has opposed previous attempts to charge fees like this.

"People argued that trash pickup is a service that the city is supposed to provide," she said. "And if we start charging for trash pickup, are we then going to charge for having a police officer answer a call?"

"We were facing a huge gap at the end of this last fiscal year, about a $155 million shortfall," said Caldwell. "We're closing it. And we need to close it because it has to be balanced."

Caldwell is also expected to discuss the progress on the city's rail project. He also said he'll talk about how the  city will deal with the issue of homelessness on the island.

"People are frustrated," he said. "People want to see our homeless cared for and placed into shelters. People also want to be able to walk down our sidewalks and into our parks and not be obstructed from walking."

Caldwell said there are other initiatives that he won't unveil until Wednesday's address.

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