'Sunset on the Beach' reduced to once a month
By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser City Hall Writer
Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris will cut back the popular "Sunset on the Beach" movie festivals from weekly to monthly after this weekend in response to City Council objections. Harris had said the events could be held more often without added expense to taxpayers.
"In the interest of working in cooperation, we will voluntarily only have a city-sponsored Waikiki Sunset once a month for the remainder of the fiscal year," Harris said.
City Corporation Counsel David Arakawa issued a legal opinion that the council may have overstepped its authority because "it does not have the power to intrude on administrative functions reserved to the executive branch."
Despite the legal advice, Harris said he is backing off a plan to have the Sunset program every weekend this month after hearing the council's objections. But Harris said he is "befuddled" that the council would object to continuing the movies if the money is raised from private sponsors and fees.
Harris described the family-oriented movies as "probably one of the most successful things the city has ever done."
Council Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi applauded Harris "for honoring the budget," which called for a monthly Sunset program.
Kobayashi said she would be open to having the event more often "as long as they have the money to do it and as long as they don't take money from other programs that are necessary to the operation of the city."
Councilman Duke Bainum, who supports the program, objected to Harris' scheduling four Sunset events this month against the council's wishes. He praised Harris for getting $10,000 from Outrigger Enterprises to pay for this weekend's event.