The City and County of Honolulu
is a combined city-county jurisdiction
located in the U.S. state
. It is also the official municipal and cultural entity of the combined urban district of Honolulu
and the rest of the island of Oahu
in the U.S. state
, as prescribed in the city charter adopted in 1907 and accepted by the Legislature
of the Territory of Hawaii
. The City and County encompasses all of the island of Oahu
and several minor outlying islands including all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
(islands beyond Niihau
except Midway Atoll
). It acts as a public corporation
that manages various aspects of traditional municipal governance primarily in the American manner. The population of the City and County was 876,156 at the 2000 census
, making it the eleventh-largest municipality in the United States.
Upon becoming a consolidated city-county on April 30, 1907, the combined territories were incorporated as the City and County of Honolulu, as it is known today.
The current Mayor of Honolulu is Mufi Hannemann.
Originally governed by a Board of Supervisors, the City and County of Honolulu is administered under a mayor-council
system of governance overseeing all municipal services: civil defense, emergency medical, fire, parks and recreation, police, sanitation, streets, water, among others. One of the largest municipal governments in the United States, the City and County of Honolulu has an annual operating budget of $1 Billion.
The government of the City and County of Honolulu is simplified and streamlined and coalesces at three major divisions of municipal power.
- The Mayor of Honolulu is the principal executor of administrative authority and wields highly centralized abilities which in most cities are weighted more equally between the mayor and legislature. Because of the nature of these abilities, the Mayor of Honolulu is often considered by political scientists as one of the most powerful mayors in the nation. The mayor is elected on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term.
- The Honolulu City Council is the unicameral legislative body. Its elected members are responsible for drafting and passing laws, as well as proposing budgets for various departments. Unlike other cities in the United States, the council is absolutely independent of the mayor, who does not make any appearances during any of the council sessions. The nine council members each represent one of nine districts, and are elected on a non-partisan basis to staggered four-year terms.
- The Prosecuting Attorney of Honolulu is absolutely independent of the other two major divisions of municipal power, and is not charged with providing counsel to those bodies; that duty is a responsibility of the Department of Corporation Counsel under mayoral jurisdiction. The prosecuting attorney is elected on a non-partisan basis to a four-year term.
The City and County of Honolulu is one of only a handful of U.S. cities with an extensive neighborhood board system. With 35 neighborhood boards, the system is perhaps the largest of its kind. Members are elected to two-year terms. The office of neighborhood board member is an advisory position for public policy and civil investment.
Like most cities in the United States, the City and County of Honolulu is divided into smaller administrative districts. There are nine such districts, each of which elects a member of the city council. The boundaries of each district are revised every ten years in conjunction with the U.S. Census. Each district is composed of unincorporated subdivisions unofficially called towns and cities.
- DISTRICT I: Ewa, Ewa Beach, Honouliuli, West Loch, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale and Nanakai Gardens, Ko Olina, Nānākuli, Waianae, Mākaha, Keaau, Mākua.
- DISTRICT II: Mililani Mauka, Wahiawā, Whitmore Village, Mokulēia, Waialua, Haleiwa, Waimea, Pūpūkea, Sunset Beach, Kahuku, Lāie, Hauula, Punaluu, Kahana, Kaaawa, Kualoa, Waiāhole, Kahaluu, Āhuimanu, Heeia.
- DISTRICT III: Waimānalo, Kailua, Kāneohe.
- DISTRICT IV: Hawaii Kai, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Āina Haina, Wailupe, Waialae-Iki, Kalani Valley, Kāhala, Wilhelmina Rise, a portion of Kapahulu, a portion of Kaimukī, Diamond Head, Waikīkī, Ala Moana.
- DISTRICT V: Kapahulu, Kaimukī, Pālolo Valley, St. Louis Heights, Mānoa, Mōiliili, McCully, Kakaako, Ala Moana, Makiki.
- DISTRICT VI: Makiki, downtown Honolulu, Punchbowl, Liliha, Pauoa Valley, Nuuanu, Ālewa Heights, Papakōlea, Kalihi Valley, Kalihi.
- DISTRICT VII: Kalihi, Kapālama, Pālama, Iwilei, Sand Island, Māpunapuna, Airport, Hickam, Pearl Harbor, Ford Island, Āliamanu, Salt Lake, Foster Village, Stadium, Hālawa Valley Estates.
- DISTRICT VIII: Fort Shafter, Moanalua, Hālawa, Aiea, Pearl City, Seaview, Crestview, Waipio Gentry.
- DISTRICT IX: Waikele, Waipahu, Village Park, Kunia, Mililani.
The civic center
is coextensive with what is known as the Capitol District
in downtown Honolulu
. The official seat of governance for the City and County of Honolulu is located within the district at Honolulu Hale
, established in the 1920s as a city hall structure and houses the chambers of the Mayor of Honolulu and the Honolulu City Council. In the 1960s and 1970s, Mayor Frank Fasi
developed the modern civic center as it is known today. He took to controversial and aggressive measures to reclaim property, demolish massive concrete structures in the area, construct underground parking facilities and open a green campus above ground with manicured lawns and specially commissioned sculpted artwork. He also oversaw the construction of new government buildings to house the departments that fell within mayoral jurisdiction. The most prominent of those new buildings were the Honolulu Municipal Building and Hale Makai, the headquarters of the Honolulu Police Department. Civic centers were also constructed off the Capitol District campus including the Kapiolani Bandstand
, Neal S. Blaisdell Center
, and the Waikīkī Shell
The City and County of Honolulu collects various forms of taxes
including a lucrative property tax
. Revenue from those taxes are used to provide several services for the residents. The most prominent of those services are:
As of the census
of 2000, there were 876,156 people, 286,450 households, and 205,671 families residing in the City and County of Honolulu. The population density
was 1,461 people per square mile (564/km²). There were 315,988 housing units at an average density of 527/sq mi (203/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 46.04% Asian
, 21.28% white
, 8.87% Pacific Islander
, 2.35% black
or African American
, 0.25% Native American
, 1.28% from other races
, and 19.93% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 6.70% of the population.
There were 286,450 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.2% were non-families. 21.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95 and the average family size was 3.46.
In the county the population was spread out with 23.80% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 30.6% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 101.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.7 males.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,127 square miles (5,509 km²), of which, 600 square miles (1,553 km²) of it is land and 1,527 square miles (3,955 km²) of it is water. The total census tract area is 71.80% water. However, the majority of this area is the Pacific Ocean that surrounds the islands.