Raises of 4% proposed
for most city officials

The panel's recommendation
takes effect July 1 unless modified
or rejected by the City Council

The mayor, City Council, department directors and their deputies would receive a 4 percent pay raise under a recommendation approved yesterday by the city Salary Commission.

City & County of Honolulu The mayor's salary would jump to a little over $116,000, while the City Council chairman's pay would increase to more than $50,000. Other members of the Council would see their salary rise to just over $45,000.

The last time the City Council and the mayor received a pay raise was in 2001, when their salaries went up by 2 percent.

All elected and appointed officials, including police and fire chiefs and other department directors and their deputies, also are expected to receive salary increases.

The City Council must reject or modify the commission's proposed salaries, or they will take effect automatically July 1, the start of the fiscal year. Seven of nine votes are needed to reject the raises.

Commission Chairman Rick Ornellas could not be reached for comment.

Commissioner Gregory Chee said the city's financial picture was taken into account when the commission voted unanimously to approve the proposed raises.

"It would've been nice to give elected and appointed officials a larger raise, but given the current fiscal situation, I think it would've been difficult," Chee said. "I think there's a greater likelihood of the Council approval of what we voted on this year."

Mayor Mufi Hannemann said he supports a modest pay raise for all city employees.

And if the Council agrees with the proposed increase, "then I'd like to help them identify where in the budget, where we might do this," Hannemann said.

Hannemann said he sees the pay increase as an incentive to attract talented people to work for the city. He said it has been difficult to fill some of his Cabinet posts because of pay.

City Council Budget Chairwoman Ann Kobayashi said the budget is tight, but her colleagues are looking at options to make room for collective-bargaining pay raises.

"We have to make sure that everyone gets paid. If there's some left over, we'll have to stand in line," Kobayashi said. "Four percent I think is fair."

Councilman Charles Djou, who is an advocate for cutting spending, said that as with collective-bargaining increases, he plans to vote against the commission's pay hike proposal. "We don't have the money," he said.

City & County of Honolulu

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