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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      June 24, 2005

Release M-43





                 Hawaiian Telcom enables Sunset on the Beach to continue through June 2006


Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann today (Friday, June 24, 2005) announced that Hawaiian Telcom has signed on to be the presenting sponsor for the popular Sunset on the Beach events from January through June of 2006. In addition, Hawaiian Telcom will be the presenting sponsor for five Sunset events over the rest of this year.


“Public-private partnerships are going to be a hallmark of our administration,” said the mayor. “We are pleased that Hawaiian Telcom has stepped forward to help the Waikiki Improvement Association carry this popular program forward. It was just last month that I attended the ceremony marking Hawaiian Telcom’s advent in Hawaii. With this generous announcement, Hawaiian Telcom, under the leadership of Michael Ruley, is showing its willingness to be a good corporate citizen and a good neighbor.”


Joining the mayor in the announcement were Hawaiian Telcom chief executive officer Michael Ruley, WIA chairman Michael Walsh, WIA executive director Rick Egged and WIA events coordinator Janet Maduli.


Hawaiian Telcom will provide $125,000 to the improvement association, which will enable it to continue offering Sunset on the Beach two weekends a month for the next year.


“This guarantees we will continue at least through June of 2006,” said Egged. “This is very exciting because we’re saving an event that’s of great value to the community. The Waikiki Improvement Association extends a big mahalo to Mike Ruley of Hawaiian Telcom.”


The mayor has long advocated private funding for Sunset on the Beach and Brunch on the Beach. Ten days after he took office in January, he announced that the Waikiki Improvement Association had agreed to assume a greater share of the costs for the events.


Hannemann said the City Auditor’s report released today “confirms my belief, even before I became mayor, that the City was spending too much money and manpower on these events. They are certainly worthwhile and have proved to be popular, but my predecessor went too far in supporting them and, as the audit shows, did not provide the public with an honest accounting of the costs to Honolulu’s taxpayers.”


Hannemann said, “One of my first priorities as mayor is to ensure greater fiscal accountability and integrity with all our City programs. Better management of Sunset and Brunch on the Beach was one of the first things we set out to do in the first 100 days of my administration.”


Steps the Hannemann administration has already taken to better manage the program, long before the audit came out, include:

·       Getting the Waikiki Improvement Association to assume management of the events, with diminishing City support, but without any appropriated City funds beginning in 2006. The previous administration appropriated $160,000 for Sunset and $75,000 for Brunch this year.

·        Reducing the number of Sunset events from last year’s 35 to 24 this year. There will be four Brunch on the Beach events compared to 11 last year.

·        Reducing non-appropriated support for the beach events. Sunset on the Beach, for example, no longer uses City workers to provide logistics, set-up, trash pick-up and other services.

·        Halting the practice of using City Road Maintenance Division workers to haul and set up chairs and equipment for the Beach events. A City Auditor’s report this week said that practice was poorly documented and one reason for the poor condition of Oahu’s roads. Halting the diversion of Road Maintenance workers saves the City at least $10,000 for each Brunch on the Beach event, and allows the workers to devote more of their time to fixing potholes.

·       Implementing sound management and accounting techniques for the City’s support of the beach events.

·       Helping the Waikiki Improvement Association secure private funding for the beach events.


“Hawaiian Telcom’s sponsorship will certainly help us secure more funding to continue Sunset on the Beach,” said Egged.


The mayor said the City is continuing its non-monetary support for five Rediscover Oahu weekend celebrations outside of Waikiki this year. The five are Schofield (last month), Haleiwa (July 23-24), Maili-Waianae (August 13-14), Waimanalo (September 10-11) and Kapolei (October 1-2).







            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Friday, June 24, 2005

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