County auditor’s ‘citizens’ report offers simpler look at arrests, fires, taxes, rescues

LIHU‘E — The Kauai‘i County Fire Department answered more fire calls with a faster response time, while the county’s police department issued more citations but made fewer arrests between fiscal year 2010 and fiscal 2011, according to a “Report to Citizens” released Wednesday by the county auditor’s office.

The four-page report follows a national Citizen Centric Initiative model being followed by other municipal, county and state governments to simplify reports and include easy-to-read charts.

“Good governance requires good information,” Kaua‘i County Auditor Ernesto Pasion said. “The Citizen Centric project demystifies the technical information in the county’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, which this year has 150 pages.”

Pasion said the highlighted report offers the public a way to better understand significant data contained in the report.

The Kaua‘i County Fire Department responded to 309 fire incidents in fiscal 2011 versus 291 a year earlier, and the department’s response time improved from 16:13 minutes to a faster 15:02 minutes. The department recorded 362 more EMS rescue incidents (3,884) than in fiscal 2010 (3,522).

The Kaua‘i Police Department answered 5.2 percent more calls for police service (37,374) in fiscal 2011 versus the previous year, and issued 19.7 percent more citations (22,376), but made 14.8 percent fewer arrests (3,288).

The county’s Public Works Department issued slightly fewer permits in FY 2011 (5,679 versus 5,818 in FY 2010), and performed 9.2 percent fewer inspections (18,332 in FY 2011).

Between FY 2010 and FY 2011, the county’s revenues from taxes, licenses and permits and interest income decreased, while income from rents and concessions, charges for current services and intergovernmental revenues slightly increased. The report states the balance of the county’s General Fund of $47,6 million reflects a decrease of $10.99 million from the previous fiscal year.

Among future challenges identified by the report is a continued decline of real property values, which results in decreased real property tax revenues. Another concern is the county’s reliance on the state Legislature’s allocation of Transient Accommodation Tax, which account for 13.6 percent of General Fund revenues.

This is a performance report, and not an analysis, Pasion said. The full report will soon be available online at www.kauai.gov/auditor, or email questions to auditor@kauai.gov.

This is the second such report released by the county auditor. It was established by the Association of Government Accountants in 2007.

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