Maui Council members
might receive pay raises

WAILUKU » The Maui Salary Commission is considering raising the annual pay for Council members to as high as $85,000, nearly double the current salary.

Commissioner Gladys Baisa said she supports the pay increase because of the long hours required for the Council work and the responsibility of legislating ordinances in a county with an annual budget of close to $400 million.

Baisa, who helped to prepare a committee report on the pay issue, said the Council salaries were not even close to the 2003 median household income in Maui County of $60,700. The commission is discussing a Council pay range of between $65,000 and $85,000.

Council members currently receive $44,000 annually, while the Council chairman gets $48,000. Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa earns $96,000 a year.

The commission is scheduled to discuss the proposal at a public meeting at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 10 in the Mayor's Lounge in the County Building.

Some commission members, including Baisa, want to vote on the proposal on Nov. 12, after the general election, because they do not want to turn the suggested pay increase into an election issue.

Under the County Charter, the salary commission has the power to raise the pay for the mayor, department heads and deputies, and Council members.

The Council received its last pay increase in 1998, when the Council chairman received a 26 percent increase and Council members were awarded a 29 percent increase.

During the commission meeting yesterday, Maui resident Sally Raisbeck testified she thought the proposed $85,000 annual salary for a Council member was a good figure.

Under the County Charter, Council memberships are considered part-time positions, allowing members to seek other employment. But supporters noted that the job really requires more than 40 hours a week.

"Almost all of them work full time and more than full time," Raisbeck said. "They put in an enormous amount of time."

Raisbeck called the current Council salary "entry-level" pay and said the salary increase might attract people who otherwise might not be able to afford running for office.

"You don't want entry-level people running the county," she said.



E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- https://archives.starbulletin.com