HILO, Hawaii: The Hawaii County Mayor’s Office is letting the public know that the first furlough day of the new fiscal year is just a few days away.
This media release was circulated today, and it contained a special warning (in bold) about the potential entanglements for vehicle registration. Everyone is being encouraged to plan ahead.
FURLOUGH DAY FALLS ON FRIDAY, JULY 29
Most County of Hawai`i offices that serve the public will be closed on Friday, July 29, which will be the first county employee furlough day of the new fiscal year. Starting in August, the county furlough days will be scheduled on the first Friday of each month.
In an effort to minimize any inconvenience to the public, county officials are asking residents to include the furlough schedule in their planning to ensure the county agencies they need will be open when they arrive.
In particular, motorists who need to register their vehicles or renew their drivers licenses near the end of July are urged to plan ahead. County vehicle registration offices will be closed on Friday, July 29, which would normally be the last business day of the month.
Hele-On bus service will operate as regularly scheduled, but administrative offices for the bus system will be closed on furlough days.
The Department of Parks & Recreation will not close any pools in July because of the furlough, but pools will be closed for two furlough days in August. Pool users are asked to check with the individual pools to determine the furlough schedule for each facility.
The Department of Public Works’ Aupuni Center and West Hawai’i Civic Center offices will be closed to the public on furlough days, and contractors are asked to schedule critical work and administrative requirements around the furlough days.
The county is implementing one furlough day per month as a cost-saving measure under a new two-year agreement between the County and the Hawai`i Government Employees Association. The furloughs will save the county an estimated $2.1 million per year.
For more information about county news and events, please visit hawaiicountymayor.com
A few months ago, Mayor Billy Kenoi submitted a proposed budget that appeared to put an end to furloughs. However, in mid-July, the mayor announced a new two-year agreement with the Hawaii Government Employees Association that continues a limited county furlough program to save an estimated $2.1 million per year. The agreement calls for HGEA members to accept furloughs of one day per month for the two-year period that began July 1, 2011. That equates to a pay reduction of 4.615 percent from pay levels in effect before furloughs first took effect last year.
The new furlough program will be a scaled-back version of the two furlough days per month program instituted in 2010. The mayor says it will better serve the public by allowing county facilities to remain open more days this year.