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Saturday, November 22, 2014         

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Maui mayor vetoes nearly $30M from county budget

By Associated Press

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WAILUKU >>  Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa issued eight line-item vetoes to the budget the county council passed this month.

Monday's vetoes trim nearly $30 million in capital-improvement projects from the $600 million budget, The Maui News reported.

The council has 10 days to act or the vetoes will become law, Budget Director Sandy Baz said.

Among the eliminated items is money for a new Kahului community center. Arakawa said funding would be premature because it still could take years to identify a site for the center.

Most cuts stem from the mayor's objections to the way bond items appear in the budget bills package.

For example, a bond-authorization measure didn't specifically mention a gym in south Maui. Without that authorization, the county wouldn't be able to fund the project.

Mike White, the council's Budget and Finance Committee chairman, said he was reviewing the vetoes and analyzing the mayor's objections.

He noted that the budget was reviewed and approved by the Department of Corporation Counsel, the county's attorneys, and passed unanimously by his committee and the full council. "I have confidence in the budget passed by the council," White said.

Separately, Arakawa said Monday county general obligation bonds had newly confirmed credit ratings. Moody's gave the county an Aa1 rating, the second-highest bond rating. Standard & Poors and Fitch gave the county AA+ ratings, a step below a top AAA rating.






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