City’s top wages to rise
The mayor would get a 6% pay hike; other officials would receive up to 9%
A city salary panel will meet April 21 to consider whether to accept the plan
STORY SUMMARY »
Mayor Mufi Hannemann would get a larger pay raise than Gov. Linda Lingle this year, a committee of the city's Salary Commission has recommended.
The commission is floating a 6 percent raise for the mayor and City Council members, raises of 8 percent for the police and fire chiefs, and 9 percent for the city prosecutor. The full commission is scheduled to consider the proposals at an April 21 hearing.
If the proposals are accepted, the salary increases will take effect July 1.
Lingle, who makes $116,524.80 a year, received a 2 percent raise of $2,285 raise this year. Hannemann's raise would be $7,686, to $135,786 from $128,100.
One City Council member decried the executive pay raises.
"Does the City Council and the mayor deserve it? I truly don't think so," said Councilman Charles Djou. "The city budget has gone up under Mufi Hannemann by 72 percent over three years. That's way more than the average family can afford.
"Part of the reason is because salaries and benefits have been increasing as well as general spending. You have to hold the line somewhere."
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Mayor Mufi Hannemann and City Council members would get 6 percent raises this year while the prosecutor and police and fire chiefs would receive slightly higher raises, under a proposal by a city Salary Commission committee.
The police and fire chiefs would get 8 percent raises, while Honolulu Prosecutor Peter Carlisle would get the largest raise at 9 percent. Hannemann earns $128,100 a year, while the Council chairwoman makes $55,020 and councilmembers receive $49,245.
Carlisle told the commission that prosecutors should get a raise because they work long hours without overtime and would make more money in the private sector.
"They don't get their education paid for. ... It would be nice to give them reasonable but not exorbitant compensation."
Carlisle makes $118,635 a year.
"All I'm asking is to get the same that these guys (police and fire chiefs) get," he said after the meeting. Police and fire chiefs make $126,141 a year.
The Salary Commission committee made the recommendations yesterday. The commission will hold a public hearing on April 21 before deciding on the pay raises. If the commission approves the proposals, the pay raises will go into effect unless the City Council votes to reject them within 60 days. Salary increases would take effect July 1.
Commission member Laudra Eber said the committee looked at bargaining unit employees' pay, the economy, inflation rates, and pay for similar positions on the mainland and other islands for the rate increases.
The prosecutor was given the largest pay raise to move that position's pay closer to police and fire chiefs' salaries. While in the past, the prosecutor got more, that changed in 2000 when police and fire chiefs got a 14.79 percent pay raise, commission Chairman Guy Tajiri said.
The pay raise package would cost taxpayers $277,878. Elected and appointed city officials' salaries currently total $4.9 million.
Councilmember Charles Djou said the city should be more fiscally responsible and cut back on pay raises.
"The city budget has gone up under Mufi Hannemann by 72 percent over three years. That's way more than the average family can afford," he said.
He said pay raises should be withheld for councilmembers and the mayor -- something the City Council did in 2002.
"It's too much, and it's about time the city government says enough is enough," he said, pointing out that government employees received a 4 percent raise last year.
Council Chairwoman Barbara Marshall said she supports the commission's pay increases for the City Council and the mayor.
She said she works hard, pulling 50 to 70 hours a week, and should be compensated for her work.
"That seems fair to me," she said.
Pay Raise proposals for city officials
The city Salary Commission is recommending the following pay raises for elected and appointed city officials:
Honolulu mayor: $128,100 to $135,786 (6 percent)
City Council chairperson: $55,020 to $58,321 (6 percent)
City Council members: $49,245 to $52,200 (6 percent)
Managing director: $120,699 to $126,734 (5 percent)
Deputy managing director: $114,396 to $120,116 (5 percent)
Department heads: $112,704 to $118,339 (5 percent)
Deputy department heads: $106,956 to $112,304 (5 percent)
Royal Hawaiian Band director: $112,704 to $116,085 (3 percent)
Police and fire chiefs: $126,141 to $136,232 (8 percent)
Deputy chiefs: $120,312 to $129,937 (8 percent)
Prosecutor: $118,635 to $129,312 (9 percent)
First deputy prosecutor: $110,538 to $119,381 (8 percent)