East Hawaii News

Public Meeting in Kona Next Week on County Budget

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The public will have several more opportunities in the upcoming weeks to comment on Mayor Billy Kenoi’s proposed $412 million county budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

A public hearing will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15, at the West Hawaii Civil Center in Kailua-Kona. Testimony via videoconferencing will be available from Hilo, Pahoa and Waimea.

Following recent department-by-department scrutiny of the mayor’s spending plan, the Hawaii County Council has scheduled the first vote on the budget for May 14, with a second and final vote set for June 2. Both will be held at the council’s chambers in Hilo.

The budget is the biggest since Kenoi took office in 2008, and the second in a row to show an increase after five years of declining spending.

The mayor’s budget message to the council noted that the budget reflected a “modest, measured recovery” in property taxes as well as increases in employee costs resulting from negotiations and arbitration with public worker unions.

The new fiscal year begins July 1.


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