Council votes to sustain mayor’s veto of bill to allow alcohol sales

WAILUA — There will be no county-sanctioned drinking alcohol on the links anytime soon at Wailua Golf Course.

The Kauai County Council voted unanimously Wednesday to sustain Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr.’s veto of Bill 2635, which would have allowed alcohol sales at the public golf course via roving concessions.

“Let’s put this to rest,” said Councilman Ross Kagawa.

In addition to concerns from the mayor and Police Chief Darryl Perry, council members cited lack of a current concessionaire as a reason to let the issue go.

“We had the vendor who wanted this and still he pulls out even though we passed it,” said Councilman Arthur Brun.

The Over Par restaurant at the golf course closed in December. It opened there in early 2014.

Alcohol is already being consumed on the course illegally because golfers bring it in, Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura pointed out, though she also voted to sustain the veto.

“It’s already happening and it would be better regulated by a license,” Yukimura said. “It’s a problem the golf course has to look at.”

Bill 2635 was passed by the council Dec. 14 and Carvalho submitted his veto on Dec. 28. The council had 30 days to decide if it wanted to sustain or override the veto.

“My main concern is not hearing opposition to the bill from the administration until it was passed,” said Councilman Arryl Kaneshiro. “I hope our communication gets better.”

The veto of the bill doesn’t ban events at the golf course though, Kaneshiro pointed out, because community members can apply for a permit to use it.

“If you want to do an event on the golf course, don’t feel like you can’t. It’s a great opportunity and it’s beautiful,” Kaneshiro said.

The details of the county’s management of Wailua Golf Course will be discussed Feb. 15.

“We want to see the course be operated more efficiently in a lot of different ways,” said Councilman Mason Chock.

Yukimura pointed out the county subsidizes the golf course to the tune of $1.2 million annually. That keeps green fees affordable for many locals.

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