Council prepares for fiscal year 2020 budget review

CHAIR'S 3 MINUTES

On April 1, the Maui County Council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee, which I chair, will begin a series of meetings to review the mayor’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2020. The mayor will deliver his budget proposal to the council Monday.

The budget is the financial guide for the county for the fiscal year beginning July 1. It determines the rates and fees that will be charged for county services as well as real property tax rates. The budget also delineates how much funding the county departments have as well as how much money may be spent on county projects such as roadway infrastructure or water system expansion.

As we consider the budget, we must weigh the benefits of funding requests with the county’s ability to provide the funding needed. Then, the committee will recommend appropriate changes to the budget based on community needs and spending priorities.

The council must pass the budget with its amendments by June 10. If we fail to do so, the mayor’s proposal, as presented to the council, will go into effect.

The EDB Committee will also hold meetings throughout the county to gather your input on the budget. You may testify at the following meetings:

• April 1, Lanai Community Center, Social Hall, 8th St. and Lanai Ave., Lanai City.

• April 4, Hannibal Tavares Community Center, Social Hall, 91 Pukalani St., Pukalani.

• April 5, Hana Community Center, Main Hall, 5091 Uakea Road, Hana.

• April 9, Kihei Community Center, Main Hall, 303 E. Lipoa St., Kihei.

• April 10, Lahaina Civic Center, Social Hall, 1840 Honoapiilani Highway, Lahaina.

• April 11, Paia Community Center, Social Hall, 252 Hana Highway, Paia.

• April 15, Mitchell Pauole Center, Main Hall, 90 Ainoa St., Kaunakakai, Molokai.

• April 17, Council public hearing, Council Chambers, 200 S. High St., Wailuku.

All district meetings and the council public hearing will begin at 6 p.m.

The committee will not hold a district meeting in Kahului or Wailuku. Instead, Central Maui residents are encouraged to testify at the council’s public hearing.

Oral and written testimony will be accepted at all committee meetings on the budget. Community members may also submit written testimony to edb.committee@mauicounty.us, referencing EDB-1.

All other committee meetings are suspended during the budget session unless they must meet on an urgent matter. For example, time may be allowed for the Governance, Ethics, and Transparency Committee to meet to review the mayor’s new appointees to lead the Department of Housing and Human Concerns and the Department of Public Works.

Your input is highly valuable to the committee as we deliberate on the budget. We are deciding how your taxpayer dollars will be spent, and your input will guide us in making those determinations.

* Keani Rawlins-Fernandez is chair of the Council’s Economic Development and Budget Committee. She holds the council seat for the Molokai residency area. “Council’s 3 Minutes” is a column to explain the latest news on county legislative matters. Go to mauicounty.us for more information.

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