Maui News

Citing safety, Budget Chair moves to partially restore several positions

April 29, 2010, 4:45 PM HST
* Updated April 29, 4:46 PM
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By Wendy Osher

The Budget and Finance Committee today reached consensus to restore funding in varying capacities for several positions that were proposed for cuts earlier this week.

Joe Pontanilla file photo by Wendy Osher.

Budget Chair Joe Pontanilla said a number of positions were added back into the budget for varying reasons.  “The most important reason was the safety of our employees,” said Pontanilla.

He acknowledged the manpower needed to correctly staff county parks and introduced proposals for eight positions with the Department of Parks and Recreation.  The proposal included reinstatement of six-months of funding for: a special events person, 4 positions with the East Maui parks division, a park caretaker on Molokai and a janitor on the Friendly Isle.  The committee also reached consensus to restore a park security officer position at zero funding.

For the Planning Department, there was consensus reached to reinstate six-months of funding for: a supervising clerk and a civil engineer.  Pontanilla noted that testimony was received explaining the primary function of the engineering position to administer federal aid projects, and supervise construction and maintenance functions.  Full-funding was restored for a land surveyor position since there is currently only one existing post, but two people are needed to adequately compile survey work.

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The Department of Fire and Public Safety received the reinstatement of six-month’s worth of funding for the Assistant Fire Chief Position.

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In the Office of the Mayor, the committee reached consensus to reinstate $27,750 for a part-time budget specialist position that traditionally works for a five month period in helping to prepare the county’s budget.

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