City looks to hire temporary groundskeepers, supervisors

Local News

The City and County of Honolulu is seeking to hire temporary groundskeepers and supervisors to increase staffing for its maintenance activities.

There was an impressive turnout Monday as hundreds turned out to apply. Raymond Viela got there at 4 a.m.

“I just wanted to be here early and beat the traffic and stuff, and then never had traffic this morning so I got here pretty early,” he said.

We’ve been reporting on this problem for months. City crews have fallen behind on keeping grass trimmed around the island due to a span of wet weather and a shortage of workers.

Right now, there are only 15 workers responsible for cutting three million square feet of grass, but the city hopes that will soon change.

“The work is physically grueling because we do have 3.2 million square feet of landscape area to take care of. We don’t have any lawn mowers, so everything is done by string line trimmers,” said Ross Sasamura, director of the city’s Department of Facility Maintenance. “We’re looking for folks that have experience and are able to work hard, enjoy working outdoors, and don’t mind getting dirty.”

Interested individuals have one more day to apply for the positions. The city will be accepting applications at Ala Moana Regional Park’s McCoy Pavilion from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Sasamura says the state’s low unemployment along with high private-sector salaries are making it hard for the department to fill positions.

So the city is expediting the process by creating full-time, temporary, non-civil service contract positions. Contracts may end on June 30, 2016, with extension possible.

Groundskeeping duties include, but are not limited to, cutting grass, trimming brush, and cleaning rubbish from various city-owned properties such as parks, traffic medians, and cemeteries, with manual and light power equipment.

Hawaii state law requires candidates to be citizens, nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States, or eligible under federal law for unrestricted employment in the United States. In addition, candidates must become residents of the State of Hawaii within 30 days after beginning their employment and as a condition of eligibility for continued employment.

Reliable and experienced grounds keeping workers are preferred. A valid driver’s license may be required. Candidates may be given onsite interviews and performance tests.

Candidates must bring a valid government-issued photo identification card, such as driver’s license, State ID, or military ID card.

If selected, candidates will be required to pass a suitability check and medical examination before starting work.

The contract positions are with the Department of Parks and Recreation and Department of Facility Maintenance.

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