State briefs for March 2

Warnings posted at Kailua Bay after wastewater discharges

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Department of Health has directed the city and county of Honolulu to post warning signs at Kailua Bay after the city discharged more wastewater into the bay than allowed.


The state health department said the Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant started to discharge more wastewater than bacterially allowed starting on Feb. 18, Hawaii News Now reported last Saturday.

The violation was first reported by the city on Feb. 20.

The city is allowed to discharge up to 15.25 million gallons of wastewater daily into Kailua Bay. Officials told Hawaii News Now that operational issues at the treatment plant caused the excessive discharge.

Shoreline samples taken on Wednesday did not show increased bacteria levels in the bay, Hawaii News Now reported. But, the city posted the warning signs on Friday as a precautionary measure because of the bay’s recreational appeal.

People have been told not to enter the affected waters until the warning signs are removed.

Honolulu Salary Commission says no raises for top officials

HONOLULU — A group within the Honolulu Salary Commission has recommended that Mayor Rick Blangiardi, City Council members and other top officials receive no salary increases this year, a report said.

The Honolulu Salary Commission is responsible for setting the salaries of top officials, including the mayor and deputy department directors.

The Permitted Interaction Group, which consists of three commissioners, was asked to analyze the consumer price index and historical salary adjustments to make a recommendation on any potential changes, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

“It is the 2021 PIG’s recommendation that no salary increases be granted to any appointee whose salary is determined by the salary commission effective July 1, 2021,” member David Hayakawa told the full commission Friday.

The commission is now expected to hold a public hearing on adjusting salaries in March.

The group made the recommendation to keep the salaries the same because of slow-moving negotiations between public workers and city and state government over collective bargaining agreements set to expire June 30, Hayakawa said.

The commission is considering a 3% salary increase for officials whose salaries are controlled by the commission. None of those officials received raises in 2020.


The mayor’s position last received a 3.5% salary increase in 2019, bringing the current salary to $186,432. The highest-paid position, controlled by the commission, is the city medical examiner at $310,200 a year.

A financial disclosure statement by Blangiardi showed he retired from Gray Media, where he earned between $200,000 and $300,000, to run for mayor in 2020. He listed no other income for himself and between $25,000 and $49,999 in rental income for his spouse.

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