Mayor doesn’t sign off on budget

LIHUE — Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. sent the upcoming year’s budget back to to the council unsigned.

When the county council approved the budget on May 31, it reflected a $2 million decrease from what was submitted in March.

Their version was submitted to Carvalho the next day, and he had 10 working days to either give it his signature of approval, or decline to do that. The deadline was Friday. He did not sign off on it.

The mayor could not be reached for comment Friday on why he did not sign the budget. Which means it could be going back to council.

Originally, the proposed operating budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 was $204 million. That initial proposal was brought down to $203.5 million in a supplemental budget that was submitted to the council on May 5.

Salaries made up most of the budget submitted by the mayor. It contained a 19-cent increase in real property taxes for road repair projects. That hike would have generated $3.6 million.

During the council’s budget meetings in May, councilmembers declined to go with the mayor’s proposed tax hike. They voted to take the remaining $1.5 million they couldn’t cut from the reserve fund.

Cuts to the budget included Office of Economic Development programs, including $25,000 being cut to fund airport greeters, $30,000 from the Climate Action Plan and $10,000 from the Aloha Plus Challenge.

Overtime for the Kauai Police Department was also cut by $400,000.

The council also removed funding $504,000 from the county auditor’s office and $100,000 for performance audits.


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