Discrepancies over vacancy list prompt second look at proposed cuts
By Wendy Osher
The council’s budget committee continues deliberations today (Wednesday, April 28, 2010) following several hours of testimony yesterday on the 2011 Budget. Department heads expressed concern over recently announced plans to cut an additional 60 positions that were reported as vacant by the Department of Personnel Services.
Several of the departments sighted discrepancies in the list saying some of the positions slated for deletion were already offered and others were temporarily filled with acting personnel while a search was being conducted. Testimony was received from the Parks, Finance, Fire and Solid Waste Departments.
Council member Wayne Nishiki said that while reasons for restoring funding made sense, he did not think anyone would die from the severe cuts. Molokai Councilman Danny Mateo described the work as “deep cuts to core services” saying, “the tough decisions are yet to come and decisions are not going to be the most popular, but some how we’re going to have to find the common ground for all of us.” Committee Chair Joe Pontanilla anticipated completion of the revisions to the budget by Friday.