Commission’s plan would double salaries of City Council members
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A proposal that would nearly double the salaries of Honolulu City Council members is moving through the city Salary Commission ― and drawing a fair bit of eyebrow-raising.
One council member has already said he’s against the raise.
But others say they they work long hours and deserve full-time pay.
The commission is recommending a 12% raise for the mayor’s department heads and deputies.
But it’s pushing a plan that would nearly double City Council member salaries ― to more than $135,000.
“The commission seems to be justifying these huge raises based on the fact that City Council members are working a full-time job, but that’s not really coming from the City Charter,” said political analyst Colin Moore.
If you take a look at a typical Council calendar ― with a handful of meetings and one full Council meeting per month ― you can see why council members (like state lawmakers) are historically considered part-time.
Councilman Augie Tulba, whose first career is entertainment, says that’s what people want.
“They wanted lawmakers to work part-time ... to come in and bring the everyday citizens perspective in” he said.
A subcommittee of the commission has made three proposed new salaries: high, low and recommended middle ground. From the current $69,000, the high choice would be $185,000. The low choice was $113,000.
And the recommended salary was $135,900.
All assume full-time employment for councilmembers.
At a Jan. 25 hearing to confirm Salary Commission member Becky Soon, council members openly pushed for full-time compensation.
The final recommendation from the commission on all the raises would take effect automatically ― unless the council votes it down.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed salaries at the commission’s public hearing Tuesday afternoon at Honolulu Hale. Click here for the full agenda.
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