At a City Council meeting Feb. 20, Mayor Kirk Caldwell made it clear that nonprofit fundraising events will again be allowed at city parks. Former Mayor Peter Carlisle had decided last year that Bill 11, which banned commercial activity at Kailua and Kalama beach parks, applied to all parks.
The interpretation placed in jeopardy longstanding community events such as the Wahiawa Pineapple Festival and the Haleiwa Arts Festival, which include commercial vendors. Caldwell said the bill will be rolled back to cover only the original two parks. For other parks, nonprofits can obtain a permit so long as any commercial activity is tangential to the purpose of the event (for example, selling food at a festival).
Councilmember Kymberly Pine said she had been getting calls from residents who thought they would not be able to rent tents or bounce houses for family gatherings. But Toni P. Robinson, director designate of parks and recreation, assured Pine that this was not the case.
Asked about the change, Caldwell said that council Chair Ernie Martin and Vice Chair Ikaika Anderson had asked him to take another look at the scope of enforcement, and the Corporation Counsel’s review found it had been applied too broadly. Martin speculated that the previous administration may have interpreted the bill the way it did because of animus toward the council, which had overruled Carlisle’s veto of the bill. Caldwell said he thought it was possible that was the reason, but he didn’t definitively agree.