County pay raise plan modified


By TOM CALLIS

Tribune-Herald staff writer

The number of Hawaii County administrators who would receive pay raises has been cut by about half under a new plan before the county’s Salary Commission.

The plan, introduced at the commission’s Wednesday meeting, would provide raises for 13 department heads and deputies rather than 25 as previously proposed.

The raises would range between 9 and 13.5 percent. The plan, which wasn’t acted on, would cost the county an additional $149,496 a year.

That’s down from $224,646 under the previous proposal withdrawn by the commission in April after some members of the public spoke against it.

Finance Director Nancy Crawford had also expressed concern over the cost.

A subcommittee of commission members went back to the drawing board in response, and drafted the alternate version now under consideration.

Commission Vice Chairwoman Pudding Lassiter said the goal of the new proposal was to eliminate pay inversion, in which a subordinate makes more than a department head.

The new plan would largely do that. Eleven of the 13 positions marked for the proposed raises currently receive less pay than their highest paid subordinate.

Mayor Billy Kenoi is among the executives no longer proposed for a raise.

He had said that he wasn’t opposed to raises for hard working department heads but didn’t believe he needed a raise. Kenoi had also said he would give his additional pay, which would have been $22,002, to Hawaii Island’s United Way.

Kenoi is currently making $109,152 a year, which is 16.6 percent less than his highest paid subordinate.

Though the new plan provides raises to fewer officials, it does offer pay increases to Fire Chief Darren Rosario and Deputy Fire Chief Renwick Victorino who were left out of the previous proposal.

Lassiter, who was one of three members on the subcommittee, told the Tribune-Herald that their salaries should be on par with that of Police Chief Harry Kubojiri and Deputy Police Chief Paul Ferreira.

The pay for the top police and fire administrators is currently the same at $114,768 and $109,296 respectively.

Because of a subordinate in the Police Department receiving $123,624, Lassiter said the committee thought it was fair to increase pay for Kubojiri and Ferreira.

But that would also mean there would be a pay gap between the two departments, which the new proposal closes.

Under the plan, the police and fire chiefs would make $127,338 and their deputy chiefs would make $124,098.

“They work just as hard,” Lassiter said, referring to the department heads. “They are the ones who take care of us.”

The meeting Wednesday was brief with little discussion.

Commission Chairwoman Karolyn Lundkvist said the meeting was the first time the whole commission had seen the new proposal, adding members need more time to digest it.

The commission’s next meeting will be Oct. 30 in the Hilo council chambers.

The commission has already missed the start of the new fiscal year July 1 and was more recently planning to have the new salaries in effect by Oct. 1.

Molly Stebbins, deputy corporation counsel, said the commission can make the pay increases retroactive if it wants.

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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First Deputy Prosecuting Attorney

Current salary: $99,000

Proposed salary: $107,904

Highest subordinate salary: $99,240

Fire Chief

Current salary: $114,768

Proposed salary: $127,338

Highest subordinate salary: $100,044

Deputy Fire Chief

Current salary: $109,296

Proposed salary: $124,098

Highest subordinate salary: $100,044

Police Chief

Current salary: $114,768

Proposed salary: $127,338

Highest subordinate salary: $123,624

Deputy Police Chief

Current salary: $109,296

Proposed salary: $124,098

Highest subordinate salary: $123,624

Corporation Counsel

Current Salary: $99,000

Proposed salary: $110,244

Highest subordinate salary: $99,240

Assistant Corporation Counsel

Current salary: $94,284

Proposed salary: $104,502

Highest subordinate salary: $99,240

Environmental Management Director

Current salary: $99,000

Proposed salary: $110,244

Highest subordinate salary: $103,032

Environmental Management Deputy Director

Current salary: $94,284

Proposed salary: $104,502

Highest subordinate salary: $103,032

Finance Director

Current salary: $99,000

Proposed salary: $110,244

Highest subordinate salary: $103,032

Finance Deputy Director

Current salary: $94,284

Proposed salary: $104,502

Highest subordinate salary: $103,032

Public Works Director

Current salary: $99,000

Proposed salary: $110,244

Highest subordinate salary: $102,804

Public Works Deputy Director

Current salary: $94,284

Proposed salary: $104,502

Highest subordinate salary: $102,804

 

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