Kauai County cancels upcoming furlough day - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kauai County cancels upcoming furlough day

KAUAI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kauai County officials have canceled their first furlough day of 2011, which would have been Friday.

"We have canceled the upcoming furlough day so all county employees are scheduled to report to work on Jan. 14," said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. "The administration has also sent a money bill to the County Council for their consideration that would completely eliminate furloughs and salary reductions for the remainder of fiscal year 2011."

The County Council is expected to take a final vote on the bill during their Jan. 26 meeting.

Carvalho said the county's fiscally conservative approach and cost-saving measures have improved the budget situation.

The mayor said cost-saving measures implemented by the county include: deferring pay raises for the mayor and department heads; dollar-funding vacant positions; leaving funded positions vacant; deferring equipment purchases; restructuring debt; reducing travel; restricting take home vehicles; two-day per month furlough for all county employees except for HFFA and SHOPO; and no collective bargaining pay raises for HGEA and UPW employees.

To enhance revenue, the county increased motor vehicle registration fees; increased drivers licensing fees; and initiated online bill-paying fees.

Despite the fact that the county is currently in a financially stable position, Finance Director Wally Rezentes, Jr. cautioned that the county must continue to be conservative.

"We expect real property revenues to drop again, while the employee retirement system, employee health fund and utility costs are going to increase," said Rezentes. "In addition, the collective bargaining process has begun and this year all four unions - HFFA, HGEA, SHOPO, and UPW - will be involved."

Rezentes said there are a number of factors that could negatively impact the budget for fiscal year 2012 that are not under the control of the county such as the transient accommodations tax.

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