Bill to Allow Sponsorship of County Assets
Hawai‘i County Council member Sue Lee Loy is introducing a bill to allow commercial entities to enter into sponsorship agreements with the County of Hawai‘i.
”The bill is designed to invite private sponsors to assist the county with funds that could be further leveraged to improve existing county programs, aging facilities or similar county assets,” Council Member Lee Loy said. “It is another tool in the tool belt to shift the optics on how we provide for improvements of county assets without imposing another tax on the general public.”
In summary, Bill No. 113 would allow county agencies such as the Department of Parks and Recreation, with the concurrence of the Finance Director, to accept contributions valued at no less than $20,000 from sponsors. All agreements would then need to be approved by the council via a resolution.
In return, the sponsors would receive public recognition for their contribution, such as mention of the sponsor in promotional materials, appropriate display of the sponsor’s name at a program location, or other possible benefits as negotiated.
These agreements come with a number of restrictions: No sponsorships will be accepted by any applicant that discriminates, has a pending open application or is in a legal proceeding with the County. Sponsorship recognition cannot contain anything obscene or defamatory; it cannot be related to any political campaign or ballot measure, and the County “shall not relinquish any aspect of the County’s right to direct, manage, and control a County asset.” Also, no sponsorship agreement may be used to rename County parks and recreational facilities.
The bill was submitted Friday, February 23, 2018, to the Council for placement on the Finance Committee for Tuesday, March 13, 2018. If approved by the Council and the Mayor, it will go into effect on July 1, 2019, after allowing adequate time for the creation of administrative rules.
Council Member Lee Loy is unaware whether any potential sponsors will take up the offer, once the ordinance is approved, but she believes it is important to create the framework for it to happen. “I recognize we will be facing a tough budget process and we need to start being more innovative and creative,” said Lee Loy.