City turns around PR disaster on senior fair

The cancellation and then rescheduling of the 36th annual Mayor’s Craft and Country Fair at the Blaisdell Center was an unnecessary mess, but I give Mayor Peter Carlisle credit for quickly getting on top of a bad situation and making it right.

The event, originally scheduled for this past weekend, was abruptly scrapped by the city after a disruption at the Kailua farmer’s market over a state excise tax crackdown on cash businesses such as farmer’s markets and craft fairs.

The  overreaction dispirited seniors, who look forward to the event and put a lot of work into it, and it turned out the tax department didn’t even plan to target the fair because it is exempt as a one-time annual holiday event.

This is the part where we’ve come to expect officials to circle the wagons, deny they did anything wrong, hang underlings out to dry, blame the state — anything to evade responsibility.

Carlisle didn’t do any of that, taking responsibility squarely on his shoulders. “This was a mistake made by the City and County of Honolulu,” he said. “We’re responsible for it, and now it’s our obligation to do everything we can to try to set this right.”

And that’s exactly what he did, getting the event rescheduled for Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. I could get used to this kind of forthrightness.

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2 Comments on “City turns around PR disaster on senior fair”

  1. ppcc Says:

    Seems there is more to the story than just Carlisle taking responsibility and showing exemplary leadership. I found this KITV article, however it seems the HonAdvertiser or other local news stations did not post this story:

    City Parks Director Quits, Citing ‘Lack of Support’ From Mayor
    Lester Chang Steps Down After Six Years As Parks Chief by Keoki Kerr

    Seems Carlisle publicly blamed parks director Lester Chang for the senior fair mistake then made himself the “hero” to correct the mistake of Chang’s failure. Chang obviously does not agree with Carlisle’s rendition of what transpired for Chang to resign his director’s position in protest. Might be a little premature to be giving Carlisle high praise as the new Mayor of Honolulu

  2. ppcc Says:


    I think former City parks director Lester Chang would disagree with the contention that Carlisle did not “hang underlings out to dry”.

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