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Opinion pieces, analyses and letters are intended to provide a diverse range of views from our community. They are not intended to represent the views of Maui Now.

Maui County Budget 2013
– Final Call for Review

Updated 03:25 PM HST, April 16, 2012
Posted 09:36 AM HST, April 6, 2012

By Susan Halas

county revenue and expenses

County Revenues and Expenses from the proposed 2013 budget total $628.8M. Click to enlarge. Susan Halas photo.

The Maui County Budget for upcoming fiscal year 2013 is available online. The document depicts a local government with revenues and expenditures projected at over $626.8 million.

Maui County, comprised of the islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai, has an estimated resident population of 154,834 served by a workforce of more than 2,500 public employees.

Local wonks who enjoy the details of public financing will find the budget a fascinating picture of where our money comes from, where it has gone, and where it will go. It’s all there in two volumes, including operating costs and capital improvement projections.

In-depth types will want to read it closely for a comprehensive recap including department-by-department staffing, equipment, grants and carry-over funds.

The information is all spelled out numerically and much of it is also presented graphically. There’s everything you ever wanted to know (and in some cases much more than you ever wanted to know) about the financial side of Maui County in a clear and readable format.

Surprisingly Easy to Follow

For a document that’s so complex, it’s surprisingly easy to follow. It comes with its own Reader’s Guide.

(Hint: Read this first if you’re not accustomed to reviewing long financial documents). Using these instructions as a starting point, even fiscal beginners should be able to navigate the budget.

county workers

Maui County employs more than 2,500 workers. Click to enlarge. Susan Halas photo.

Whether you’re interested in the whole county or just your own neighborhood, this is the place to start.

Budget “Lite”

If you are a reader whose eyes glaze over at more than three numbers in a row, perhaps you’ll want to stick with the Budget Lite, aka Budget Proposal Synopsis FY 2013, which provides a fairly comprehensive overview and capital budget summaries in a much abbreviated format.

Stronger Stuff: But if you want a more in-depth view, try these two links:

Operating Budget Sections: Click here to see the sections.

Capital Budget Sections: Click here to see the sections.


The budget was prepared by the administration headed by Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, then forwarded to the Maui County Council’s Budget and Finance Committee chaired by Joe Pontanilla. There it is now, under review.

Citizens with general or specific concerns either for or against items contained in (and in some cases omitted from) the budget are encouraged to make their views known via email to joseph.pontanilla@mauicounty.us. Messages sent to Pontanilla are shared and seen by the other members of the committee.

District Meeting Schedule for 2013 Budget:

The public is invited to testify at upcoming district meetings:

Mon., April 9: KAHULUI, Pomaikai Elementary School Cafeteria, 6:30 p.m.

Wed., April 11: LAHAINA, Civic Center Social Hall, 6 p.m.

Fri., April 13: LANAI, Senior Center, 6 p.m.

Mon., April 16: HANA, Helene Hall, 6 p.m.

Wed., April 18: PUKULANI, Tavares Community Center, 6 p.m.

Wed, April 25: WAILUKU, Council Chambers, 8th floor County Building, 6 p.m. Final public meeting.

District meetings have already been held in Kihei, Paia and Molokai.

The council also accepts written and in-person testimony Monday through Friday in Council Chambers (except April 9 & 17) through April 25. This schedule may vary slightly. Those who wish to appear should sign up at 9 a.m. The council hears public remarks and then goes into deliberations.

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  • 100% Local

    finally SOMETHING on the mayor’s budget — it has only been out for two weeks — thank you Susan, you should be doing more for this website! How about some coverage of Merrie Monarch and the AJA state baseball tournament this weekend. With no coverage of those two important to us events and nothing on the budget for two weeks, I guess we can figure out precisely how much Maui Now cares about local-kine people.

  • Florian

    100%, I completely agree, Susan is Maui Now’s biggest asset and their best journalist. This is also the first I have seen on the budget – those links posted below go nowhere when you click on them,

    And auwe, Maui Now, NO coverage of the AJA state tournament? It is only on Maui once every 4 years and Maui almost won! (guess you guys have been falling behind on checking what’s in the paper and then copying the same stories).

    And how about a little more local coverage – the Maui Food Bank is in dire need of help and 100% is right, Merrie Monarch starts this week! Mr. Baz, your post at the bottom of this entry rings pretty hollow! Your attitude toward the people who live on this island is clear.

    • No can

      Brah what are you talking about? Looks like all he did was give Susan props for her piece. Looks like your attitude is hostile, relax.

      • Grown here

        Your handle would indicate that you are a local person. If so, you need to know precisely what Maui Now stands for — a little hint it is not in support of locals, far, far from it. No coverage of events like the Maui Food Bank, Merrie Monarch and the AJA state baseball event show exactly what I mean. This site is here to take local money back to the mainland, an age-old story.

        They bill themselves as the “most visited” site on Maui on their radio advertisements and even their employees know that is simply not true. If you know one of them well enough, ask them!

  • nancy stewart

    I would like the Council Budget members to look at Maui Visitors Bureau’s website before granting them another 3 million dollars.  The website still has Kapalua Bay Hotel and Kapalua shops listed,  the event calendar is so 
    small and sketchy it is useless.  Please go to their office.  It is hidden in an industrial area of Wailuku and it is not marked with the hours of operation.  The Maui County used to give them a gift of $180,00 so how did it get raised to $3.000,000.  Name any other business with an outdated website, with no visable services in a Maui tourist area,
    that specializes in tourism that got a 15 times increase ?  It is an embarasement  or a blatant example of
    you know what.

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