shave 2 percent
To avoid garbage fees andBy Gordon Y.K. Pang
higher taxes, the city must come
up with $19 million
City Council members will try to stave off garbage fees and increased property taxes in their review of the city budget next week.
Council Chairman Mufi Hannemann said he has issued memos to all department chiefs with the message: "Come prepared to talk about an additional 2 percent cut."
Budget Director Malcolm Tom estimates an across-the-board 2 percent cut in agency budgets would result in $14 million in savings. Officials need to find $19 million if the Council holds the line on property taxes and forgoes garbage fees, he said.
Hannemann says he thinks the Council can find the rest of the savings by cutting the budget.
Budget Chairman John Henry Felix wants to trim Mayor Jeremy Harris' proposal for a $252.7 million construction budget.
Felix said the decrease is needed to lower the city's debt payments, which make up roughly 16 percent of next year's $1 billion operating budget.
The Council has until May 15 to adopt its operating budget.
Budget hearings are being televised live on Oceanic Cable Channel 53 this Monday and Channel 54 the rest of the week. For meetings beyond next week, call the City Council at 547-7000.
ScheduleThe following hearings will be in the second-floor committee room at City Hall, unless noted:
Monday: City employees ad hoc committee, 8:30 a.m.; mayor's office, managing director's office 9 a.m.; Budget and Fiscal Services, 9:30; Ethics Commission, 10:30; Royal Hawaiian Band, 11; Transportation Services, 2 p.m.
Tuesday: Design and Construction, 2 p.m.
Wednesday: Council meeting, first reading on budget bills, 10 a.m., Council chambers
Thursday: Emergency Services, 9 a.m.; Medical Examiner, 9:30; Oahu Civil Defense, 10; Fire Department, 10:30; Police Department, 2 p.m.
March 24: Information Technology, 9 a.m.; Community Services, 9:30; Environmental Services, 10:30; Parks and Recreation, 2 p.m.
March 29: Planning and Permitting, 9 a.m.; Facility Maintenance, 10; prosecuting attorney's office, 10:30; Customer Services, 2 p.m.; legislative branch, 3.
March 30: Enterprise Services, 9 a.m.; Corporation Counsel, 10; Human Resources, 10:30.
March 31: Capital improvements budget, 9 a.m.
April 1: Contingency date.
May 10: Public hearing on budget bills and amendments, 7 p.m., Council chambers
May 12: Budget Committee deliberations, 9 a.m.
May 18: Council meeting, second reading on budget bills, 10 a.m., Council chambers
May 27: Budget Committee deliberations, 9 a.m.
May 28: Budget Committee deliberations, 9 a.m.
June 9: Council meeting, final reading on budget bills, 10 a.m., Council chambers