Police asked to find more cuts; Department budget amendments due April 13
KAILUA-KONA — The mayor’s office is asking the Hawaii Police Department to once again look at ways to possibly trim its budget, according to a financial report delivered Friday to the county Police Commission.
The department submitted its initial budget to the mayor’s office in late December. It received an email last week about making additional cuts or identifying where more cuts could be made, said Assistant Chief of Administration Marshall Kanehailua during the commission’s monthly meeting in Kailua-Kona.
Proposed budget amendments and additional requests for all departments are due April 13.
Kanehailua spoke to commissioners about the increase in salaries versus operating costs.
He said there is no comparison between wages and a status quo budget because salaries are negotiated through unions while the County Council approves operating costs.
Deputy Chief Kenneth Bugado said the budget the department submitted for the next fiscal year is $65,162,316.
The budget from fiscal year 2016-17 was $65,098,683, with salaries and wages accounting for $42,260,928 of the total.
Since 2008, Kanehailua said, the department has reduced its budget or maintained the status quo, meaning the budget didn’t change from the previous year.
“You can only trim so much. Now you’re picking the bones,” Kanehailua told commissioners.
Police Chief Paul Ferreira sat in front of the commissioners after Kanehailua. He said the first things usually to get cut are training, travel and subscriptions.
Keith Morioka, Police Commission chairman, said the budget is always a concern.
“Right now, the mayor says there’s no money and they got to cut the budget — it’s very difficult for them,” he said.
Mayor Harry Kim is aware of the budget concerns at the Police Department. He said all county departments are going through a review process for the 2017-18 fiscal year.
The mayor said this is a time for departments to review their budgets and justify them. He added that the Police Department and its budget are priorities.
The County Council has until June 30, the last day of the fiscal year, to amend and pass a budget or the mayor’s budget automatically goes into effect July 1. Council members will undertake a department-by-department analysis of the budget April 11-13 as individual department chiefs come before them to explain their program budgets. The mayor is scheduled to submit a final budget proposal in early May.
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