This press release was issued by Council Chair Gladys C. Baisa shortly after passage of the annual budget.
Council OKs County Budget on second & final reading; invests in quality of life, social services & infrastructure
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii – The Maui County Council approved the $559 million County Budget for Fiscal Year 2014 on second and final reading by a 7-0 vote at this morning’s Council meeting, Chair Gladys C. Baisa announced today.
The new budget will take effect on July 1, 2013 and includes discounted bus fares for qualified disabled passengers for “fixed” bus routes only, based on an amendment approved today.
Fixed bus routes include all regular Maui Bus scheduled routes, excluding para-transit and commuter routes. County Director of Transportation Jo Anne Johnson Winer testified today in support of the amendment, saying it would dramatically hurt her department’s budget if the wording in the bill was not changed from “all” bus routes to “fixed” bus routes.
“I would like to thank Councilmember Mike White for his leadership of the Budget and Finance Committee, which is a very difficult committee to chair,” said Council Chair Baisa. “Deliberating on our budget is probably the most important job the Council does every year.
“Crafting the annual budget is a huge responsibility and requires a lot of time and hard work. The Council made sure the budget is an investment in the quality of life of our people, by not only funding appropriate infrastructure, but also funding adequate social services.”
In a committee report accepted last month, the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee said it “recognized the financial struggles facing many nonprofit organizations within Maui County, as costs continue to escalate while County funding has remained relatively unchanged for the past few fiscal years.” The report noted the committee “approved increases to many of the grantees providing important public services.”
The budget now goes to Mayor Alan M. Arakawa for approval.
Some bills passed today authorize intergovernmental agreements dedicated to the improvement of County water systems. Included are the expansion of the West Maui recycled water system, Kihei wastewater pump station No. 10 Force main replacement, development of the Olinda water treatment facility, Waikamoi Flume repairs, development for Wailuku well #2, booster pump upgrades and the Kula 200 tank #1 replacement.
In other business, Councilmember Michael P. Victorino was appointed Presiding Officer Pro Tempore of the Council. Victorino will preside over Council meetings in the absence of Council Chair Baisa and Council Vice-Chair Robert Carroll.
Councilmember Stacy Crivello, in her opening remarks, reminded the body about the importance of looking for solutions with objectivity in the pursuit of Aloha.