Key city council committee advances funding for increased lifeguard hours

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A key city council committee on Wednesday approved a plan to provide more than $ 500,000 for lifeguard hours from dawn to dusk.

The city needs council approval to transfer the money it saved on vacant positions to hire 15 ocean security contract workers.

“I really believe in dawn at dusk. I really believe this is essential. I believe it will save lives, ”said City Council President Tommy Waters.

“We are talking about public safety. If we don’t have the money to do it, we should find ways to pay for it.

But even with the extra money, the city said it couldn’t staff all of its lifeguard towers from dawn to dusk. He must use mobile units to cover certain stretches of beach.

“It gives a false sense of security to residents and visitors to our beaches,” said Heidi Tsuneyoshi, city council member.

The city said it would cost too much to staff all the towers from dusk to dawn.

“A massive influx of employees, personnel and equipment would be damaging to the budget,” said Ian Santee, deputy director of the city’s emergency services department.

Budget Council Chairman Calvin Say said the city did not have enough money for overtime.

“I say don’t give anything. This is why I say to abrogate dawn till dusk, ”he said.

In the end, the committee kept the request alive by sending it to further hearings.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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