Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi will get a nearly 21 percent raise in his annual income, increasing his salary to $132,000, but he says he won’t take it.
That would make him the state’s third highest paid city executive behind Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell at $153,239, and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa at $135,696.
By comparison, Caldwell is also up for an 8 percent raise this year under a proposal before the Honolulu City Council that would take effect on July 1.
The Honolulu proposal would boost the mayor’s salary from $141,888 to $153,239. But Caldwell has rejected the pay increase and currently earns $129,607 by voluntarily reducing his own salary by about $12,000.
In April, Caldwell said he has not decided whether to support the latest salary plan advanced by Honolulu Salary Commission. That body also proposed 8 percent increases for Honolulu’s nine city council members and Caldwell’s cabinet.
Caldwell said he would make a decision after the city budget process has concluded.
According to the Hawaii Tribune Herald, Kenoi, Big Island county managers and county Council members will also receive pay increases, under a plan advanced Tuesday by the county Salary Commission.
The raises, which are expected to be approved by the Salary Commission on July 8, would take effect on July 1.
Kenoi has repeatedly said he does not want his $22,848 raise, but Commissioner Brian De Lima said the mayor’s opinion isn’t relevant. Kenoi now earns $109,152 annually.
“We’re not giving a person, we’re giving the position the salary,” De Lima told the Hilo newspaper.
Kenoi reiterated his feelings to the Big Island newspaper on Tuesday. He said he would work with the finance department and the human resources department to ensure the money is donated to the United Way.
“I’m not taking a dollar of that raise,” Kenoi said. “I made that promise, and it’s a promise that I intend to keep.”
Big Island Managing Director Wally Lau would receive a $15,056 raise to $119,000, and Deputy Managing Director Randy Kurohara would get a $16,000 raise to $115,000.
Hawaii Council members would get an 8.3 percent raise, increasing their pay by $4,000 annually to $52,000. The Council chairman would make $58,000 a year, up $6,000 annually, or an increase of 11.5 percent.
Honolulu Council members take home $52,446, about $3,000 less than state lawmakers. The Salary Commission has suggested boosting this by 8 percent to $56,642 with Council Chairman Ernie Martin earning $63,284 because of his position.
The annual salary of Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. has been $114,490 since he took office. Carvalho will seek re-election for his second full-term.
Kauai’s seven county Council members earn $56,781.
On Maui, its nine county Council members are paid $76,475 annually.