A proposal to ban smoking at five popular island beach parks goes before the City Council today as the current Council wraps up work for the year and prepares for a new body of members to take over next month.
Transition on the Council already has begun.
Councilwoman Carol Fukunaga, who succeeds U.S. Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, was sworn in last week and will take her seat along with new Councilman Joey Manahan, who was sworn-in and seated at last month’s meeting. Manahan succeeded Romy Cachola, who was elected to the state House, while Gabbard resigned her seat a week after winning the Democratic nomination for Congress in the August primary.
Today marks the last meeting for Councilman Tom Berg, who lost his re-election bid to former state Rep. Kymberly Pine, and Councilman Nestor Garcia, who is term-limited out and being succeeded by Councilman-elect Ron Menor.
The smoking ban already has passed out of its first committee by a 4-1 vote, with Berg in opposition, and appears poised to pass today in the second of three required votes needed to pass the bill and send it to the mayor.
The bill, introduced by Councilman Stanley Chang, would ban lighting up at Kapiolani Park and its surrounding areas, Kuhio Beach Park, Duke Kahanamoku Beach Park, the beach portion of Ala Moana Park and Sandy Beach Park.
Chang says the measure is intended to address littering of cigarette butts at beach parks and concerns of second-hand smoke.
Council members have said if successful, the ban could be expanded to all beach parks under city control similar to a ban imposed on the Big Island since 2008.