want pay raises
Testimony at a panel hearing
favors hikes in relation to duties
WAILUKU >> Maui County Councilwoman Charmaine Tavares and two county department heads testified yesterday in favor of pay raises for themselves.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Michael Foley is Maui County's planning director. A Page A4 article on Saturday incorrectly referred to him as Thomas Foley.
The Honolulu Star-Bulletin strives to make its news report fair and accurate. If you have a question or comment about news coverage, call Editor Frank Bridgewater at 529-4791 or email him at email@example.com.
Tavares, Corporation Counsel Brian Moto and Planning Director Thomas Foley told the Maui County Salary Commission their salaries were inadequate in relation to their responsibilities.
The commission has tentatively set a deadline of Oct. 1 for its subcommittees to submit recommendations about the salaries of Council members, department heads and deputies.
The Salary Commission authorized a roughly 3 percent across-the-board increase in salaries for department heads and deputies in 2001.
The Council received its last pay increase in 1998, when the Council chairman received a 26 percent increase and Council members, a 29 percent increase.
Critics point out the increases have not been enough.
The annual salary of the Maui corporation counsel and planning director is $80,000.
Council members receive $44,000 annually, and the Council chairman, $48,000.
Council memberships are considered part-time positions, which allow them to seek other employment.
Tavares, who has served about four two-year terms on the Council, said the demands of the job do not allow most Council members to seek additional employment.
"Maui County is the largest corporation in Maui County, and we're sort of like the board of directors," she said.
Moto said the corporation counsel's salary is substantially less than the compensation of an attorney with 10 to 15 years of experience in local Hawaii law firms and slightly above the starting pay of an inexperienced attorney joining a law firm.
Foley asked the commission to make a partial adjustment in his salary and an adjustment later through a comprehensive review, in light of the commission's decision earlier this year to increase the pay of police chief to $103,000 and deputy police chief, $99,000.
Commission Chairman Scott Matsuura said the raises for the police chief and his deputy were approved after a request was made by the Maui Police Commission last September.
Matsuura said the Police Commission wanted the salary to be raised before it needed to seek applicants to replace Chief Tom Phillips, who might retire this year.