Video: Tavares FY 2011 Budget – Part 1: Budget Overview, Furlough Details, Non-Profit Funding

March 15, 2010, 2:00 PM HST · Updated December 21, 7:47 AM
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By Wendy Osher

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares unveiled her proposed FY 2011 budget today that calls for 12 furlough days, real property tax adjustments and fee increases for some services.  The following video is the first part of her address in which she gives an overview of the budget, explains components of her Operating Budget, details her proposal for 12 furlough days, and highlights a commitment to support non-profit agencies.

FY 2011 Budget Overview

The projected revenue of $530 million includes an operating budget of $446 million and a capital program budget of $83 million, translating to a 6% decrease from the budget adopted for the current fiscal year.

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In comparison, the $563 million in revenues for the FY 2010 budget for the current fiscal year included an operating budget of $461 million and a CIP budget of $101 million.

“This significant decrease in the County of Maui budget is a consequence of the downturn in the global economy,” said Tavares.

12 Furlough Days Expected to Reduce Compensation by 4.6%

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares completes work on her version of the FY 2011 budget, transmitting the document Monday to the Council for review.

The proposal includes a plan to furlough most employees for 12 days during the next fiscal year, amounting to a reduction in compensation for each furloughed employee of approximately 4.6%.  Tavares said furlough efforts help to reduce operating expenses by $15 million.

The furlough includes unionized HGEA and UPW employees, division heads and other managers and appointed staff, including directors and deputy directors.

Tavares has yet to finalize a furlough calendar, saying options must be discussed with the unions first.

“We would want them (the furloughs) to go into effect from the start of the fiscal year (July 1, 2010),” said Tavares, “…that will depend on weather or not we have done the consultations we are required to do for the unions—for the HGEA and the UPW,” said Tavares.

The other people that are being furloughed outside of the unions include the Mayor, her appointed staff, directors and deputies, and excluded managerial staff (supervisors or managers of programs that are not in a union, but traditionally follow contracts of their supervisory staff).

The inclusion of essential service employees in the furlough plan will also be discussed with the unions.  “Most of the essential services provided by firefighters and police are exempt, because their contracts are in effect right now and will be for the next fiscal year,” said Tavares.

The schedule amounts to one furlough day per month.  “I think it could have been a lot worse,” said Tavares. “It the contracts, it was negotiated that we would be able to do two days per month, but we felt at the county level here, that if everyone does a little bit, then we can support each other as employees,” said Tavares.

“One of the big costs in county government is overtime because we have 7-day-a-week operations like police and fire, and ocean safety officers,” said Tavares.  “It doesn’t make sense to close a beach, because now you’re putting the public at risk.  So we’re trying to look at where we can control the environment,” said Tavares.

“We tried to balance it out.  I keep saying that if everybody gives a little, then it’s not so painful to any one particular group.  And that’s what I’m trying to get across to people that is if we all share in this, it’s not as bad as it could be,” said Tavares.

Non-profits:  Funding Reduced in some cases, but not eliminated

The FY 2011 Budget includes $30 million in funding support for non-profits.  That’s larger than the combined total of the state’s three other counties, which are contributing an estimated $9 million to the non-profit sector.

“We continue our commitment to support the many non-profit agencies that provide essential services to our community,” said Tavares.  “Nobody (no non-profit organization) lost their funding completely,” said Tavares.

The funding includes:

  • $1 million in county grants to non-profit agencies for housing-related programs
  • Close to $8 million in human concerns grants,
  • $5 million in transportation grants, and
  • $7 million in grants for economic development, environmental protection, watershed protection and conservation.

“There are some (non-profits) that are more essential than others, and that’s what we’ve asked them to recognize,” said Tavares.  “Those agencies that provide for the basic human needs—food, clothing and shelter—those were the ones that we wanted to support very much because in times of economic downturn, there are more and more demands for those types of services,” said Tavares.

“While everybody provides a service that is essential to our community’s well-being, either physically, mentally or socially, everyone has a purpose or else they wouldn’t be a non-profit that’s providing the services,” said Tavares.  She continued, “But at the time now, we have to really focus on those where the most need is,” said Tavares.

Tavares said there is a 25% cut on programs that fall under state jurisdiction including some programs involving Watershed Protection, the Maui Invasive Species Committee, and the University of Hawaii Maui College.

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