LIHUE — The county’s top officials might be getting a raise.
Kauai County Councilmembers today will consider a proposal to increase their own salaries along those of 30 county executives, including the mayor, the managing director, the police and fire chiefs.
The pay raises would affect all elected and appointed officers — a list composed of primarily of department heads and deputy directors for the county’s major agencies — as well as certain positions selected by the county salary commission.
The combined average annual salary for all county officials on the list, excepting the councilmembers, is slightly over $115,000.
The vast majority of the proposed raises — which, if approved, would take effect July 1 — are 7.6 percent, although a handful of officials are in line for larger jumps in pay.
Resolution 2019-1 calls for a 14.8-percent increase in the salaries for the following positions: County Engineer for public works, which is currently vacant; County Attorney Matthew Bracken; Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar and the manager and chief engineer for the Department of Water, Bryan Weinand.
Managing Director Michael Dahilig is up for an 11.8 percent raise.
Those percentages translate to an average increase of about $10,000. All told, the proposal would cost taxpayers an extra $316,586. The most recent pay raise for these positions was in 2016.
The full list is included in the online version of this article.
The county council turned down a similar proposal two years ago that asked for salary increases even smaller than the one up for consideration today.
In 2017, the council rejected Resolution 2017-2, which called for a 2.5 percent raise in the maximum allowable salaries for the same list of positions.
For over 10 years now, the county’s salary commission has been recommending raises for these positions, proposing that they be completed in three phases, according to a memorandum submitted to the council earlier this month along with the new proposal.
“Unfortunately, in 2008, the economy collapsed, along with state and county revenues. Except for raises to the Police Chief, Deputy Police Chief, Fire Chief and Deputy Fire Chief, no raises were given between 2008 and 2015,” the salary commission’s memo explains.
The council meeting starts at 8:30 a.m. in the Historic County Building.
Editor’s note: This story was corrected to note that the county engineer for public works is currently vacant.