Categorized | News

Mayor’s budget kicks in with new fiscal year

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Editor

The county’s 2011-2012 budget went into effect Friday, July 1. The final version is the one Mayor Billy Kenoi proposed several months ago, after a last minute veto vote failed at Thursday’s County Council meeting.

The $367.3 million budget had become something of a tug-o-war between Kenoi and a faction of the County Council, with open space funds, deferred payments, and golf subsidies up for public debate.

The Council passed several amendments – which Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida warned may be violation of the County Code – and Kenoi vetoed the amended budget.

The Council had one last shot to override the mayor’s veto at it’s special meeting Thursday. However, the Council fell one vote short of the needed six-vote majority.

Voting for the veto were: Council Chairman Dominic Yagong and councilmembers Brittany Smart, Brenda Ford, Angel Pilago and Pete Hoffmann.

That voting block previously had supported paying as much as possible into the GasB45 payment obligation.

Opposing votes came from: J Yoshimoto, Donald Ikeda, Dennis ‘Fresh’ Onishi and, with the swing vote, Fred Blas.

They supported Kenoi’s original budget without the changes.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Yagong withdrew a move to adjust the County Code on the 2% public access and open space land fund. That would have reduced the contribution to the land fund, but would have conflicted with the county code.

Yagong had wanted to divert nearly $10 million from administrative expenses to the GASB shortfall, which covers future health costs for retirees.

This year’s budget includes:

* Continued subsidies for West Hawaii golf ($500,000)

* Deferring $20 million in GasB45 payments until the next fiscal year.

* Maintaining the 2% public access and open space land fund

Kenoi and his family are vacationing in Japan and will return July 3 to the Big Island.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: