WAILUKU, Maui (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mayor Charmaine Tavares blasted her county's new budget, which includes major cuts to the fire department. The $524 million spending plan passed by the Maui County Council includes an extra $12 million in cuts that Tavares says are not necessary.
She says the bill also adds red tape and bureaucracy, and she described various comments by councilmembers as deceptive, irresponsible, and misleading. Tavares accuses the Council of not thinking about how the cuts will impact the community. She is especially upset that the council cut the funding for an assistant fire chief, right in the middle of Maui's worst drought in 30 years.
Tavares had proposed a budget that would cut spending by $15.2 million. The Council cut an additional $12.2 million from her plan. The budget will go into effect without her signature in July.