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DATE 4/22/19 Tel: (808) 561-0901

Councilmember Pine calls for Audit of Department of Parks and Recreation

Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine introduced a resolution calling for an audit of the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) to determine the amount of county funding appropriated and spent per park district in order to ensure equity in park improvements, staffing, and capital projects throughout the City and County of Honolulu.

“We appropriated more than $40 million in capital improvements for Ala Moana Regional Park since 2013 and in 2017 we added 15 new positions specifically to support the park. Meanwhile, too many of our parks located in residential neighborhoods are poorly maintained, have few or no dedicated groundskeepers or maintenance staff, and are in dire need of repairs, new equipment, and safety measures. Park maintenance staff work so hard to care for our public spaces and many have approached me in confidence to complain that resources are directed disproportionately toward Ala Moana and other urban locations,” said Councilmember Pine. “In my district, some parks are in complete disrepair, lacking dedicated staff, overrun by homeless encampments, and riddled with crime and drug use. At Nanakuli District Park the toilet paper is literally chained to the wall. At Oneula Beach Park there is no dedicated staff and people find needles in the sand and buckets of human waste in the bushes. At Geiger Park the playground equipment is dilapidated and rusted and residents had to give up their weekend to paint over the graffiti. Our parks offer recreational opportunities and a chance for residents to gather and enjoy the outdoors. We must ensure county government works for every resident and visitor, not just wealthy investors and those who can afford to live in multi-million dollar condos looking out at the ocean.”

A 2018 performance audit of DPR found the department struggles with long term, high volume vacancies in critical positions in park management and maintenance and, as a result, has been challenged to properly maintain parks and make necessary repairs to ensure parks are run effectively and efficiently.

The new audit will determine:

1. The amount, by park district, that has been appropriated and expended in each of the last five years for salaries, current expenses, equipment and capital improvements

2. Whether DPR has sufficient policies and guidelines in place to ensure that every park in residential neighborhoods is maintained and improved at the same level as parks in the City’s urban core that are heavily used by visitors


Capital Budget appropriations for Ala Moana Regional Park for FY 2013 – 2019

Fiscal Year Appropriated

Expended Encumbered

2013 $ 165,000 $ 165,000

2014 $ 2,821,039 $ 2,432,338

2015 $ 3,000,000 $ 3,000,000

2016 $ 3,256,000 $ 3,255,864

2017 $ 3,321,039 $ 3,301,111

2018 $ 20,000,000 $ 5,855,616

2019 $ 8,000,305 $ –

TOTAL $ 40,563,383 $ 18,009,929

Fiscal Year 2017, 15 new positions were created specifically for additional support at Ala Moana Regional Park for the following programs:

Recreation Services: 6 positions ($190,782)

Grounds Maintenance: 9 positions ($373,494)

Councilmember Kymberly Marcos Pine represents residents of District One (ʻEwa, ʻEwa Beach, Kapolei, Honokai Hale, Ko ʻOlina, Nanakuli, Maili, Waianae, Makaha, Keaau, Makua)

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