HONOLULU (AP) - Honolulu is expanding its ban on sitting and lying down in public places to additional parts of the city, despite Mayor Kirk Caldwell's veto.
HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu is expanding its ban on sitting and lying down in public places to additional parts of the city, despite Mayor Kirk Caldwell's veto.
The City Council voted 6-3 Wednesday to override the veto and enact its recent bill that expands the ban to additional locations.
Caldwell vetoed the bill last month because it took the ban from commercial areas like Waikiki to areas off sidewalks, such as the bank of a canal where a small tent city emerged.
The mayor said the bill could face legal challenges if it appears the city is targeting homeless people, and he doesn't want to jeopardize current city laws that ban sitting and lying down in Waikiki and other parts of Oahu.
But the majority of the council decided to go ahead with the expansion anyway, saying it brings parity to neighborhoods that have seen an influx of homeless people since the ban went into effect in Waikiki.
"I ended up with a tent city on the banks of the Kapalama Canal," said Councilman Joey Manahan, adding that his constituents feel that his neighborhood has become a "dumping ground" for homeless people.
"The public doesn't understand why it isn't already illegal to pitch a tent in downtown Honolulu," Manahan added.
Councilman Ron Menor voted against the proposal, saying the proponents hadn't offered an adequate rebuttal to the fears of legal challenges.
"If a legal challenge is initiated, and the city loses, then the taxpayers of this island are going to be saddled with a burden," Menor said.
Others voted against the override because they disagree with the principle of the sit-lie bans.
"It has just gotten out of control. ... When are we going to stop?" Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine said.
Councilman Trevor Ozawa said the bill is legally defensible and that issue should be left to the courts.
The council also is planning to take up new proposals Wednesday to expand the sit-lie bans even further.