Mayor Hannemann speech focuses on finances - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Mayor Hannemann speech focuses on finances

Mayor Mufi Hannemann Mayor Mufi Hannemann
Charles Djou Charles Djou
Todd Apo Todd Apo

By Tim Sakahara bio | email

HONOLULU - (HawaiiNewsNow) In a first for Mayor Mufi Hannemann he held his state of the city address outside and at night. It's just one sign of change to come.

The mayor stepped up to the mic and spoke for nearly an hour announcing $220 million worth of construction projects in the next six months. He also plans to continue work on sewers and take curbside recycling island wide. And of course there's rail, announcing the second bid from contractors came in lower than expected.

"You see we're going to continue to save tens of millions of dollars, demonstrating that contractors will bid low during an economic downturn. That's just another reason we need to move quickly on rail," said Mayor Hannemann during the speech.

Then there is the economy and the $140 million budget shortfall. To help fill it the nearly 8,000 city employees will be furloughed or have their pay cut five percent.

"We will be implementing two furlough days a month to city employees and closing the Fasi Municipal Building and Kapolei Hale on public school furlough days beginning this July," said Mayor Hannemann.

But there was no mention of plans to raise property taxes another option that's been discussed to stop the budget bleeding.

"It was an articulate speech but it really didn't break any new ground in terms of laying out anything really new for the city," said Charles Djou, Honolulu City Council Member.

"Next week Monday we'll go into specific details. I think we'll have good news for taxpayers when we unveil that budget," said Mayor Hannemann right after the speech.

"I think we're all sort of waiting to see where the proposals are going to be in terms of tax rates and as the mayor said he'll talk about that next week Monday when the budget comes out," said Todd Apo, Honolulu City Council Chair.

The mayor never mentioned a potential run for governor, only acknowledging the fact he has until mid July to announce his intentions.

The mayor will travel to Washington D.C. tonight for the U.S Conference of Mayors winter meeting. He'll return late Friday in time to announce his budget details to the city council next Monday.

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