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Kauai canceling next Furlough Friday, and perhaps through June

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Kauai County announced today it is canceling its first Furlough Friday of the year, on Jan. 14, and is sending the County Council a bill to eliminate all Furlough Fridays for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said in a statement that a combination of program cuts and fee hikes is making this possible. But the county said it is too early to say if they can avoid furloughs for the next fiscal year.

“We have cancelled the upcoming furlough day so all county employees are scheduled to report to work on Jan. 14,” Carvalho said. “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 at its Jan. 26 meeting.

Among the cost-saving measures implemented by the county over the last two years were the following: deferring pay raises for the mayor and department heads; leaving funded positions vacant; deferring equipment purchases; restructuring debt; reducing travel; restricting take-home vehicles; two furlough days per month for all county employees except for members of the police and firefighters unions; and no pay raises for HGEA and UPW employees.

To bring in more revenue, the county increased motor vehicle registration fees, increased drivers licensing fees and initiated online bill-paying fees.

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