Is there any hope for South Maui getting a fair share in the County Budget? Based on history, seems unlikely.
Each Fall, the county administration travels the county for a series of public meetings concerning the next fiscal year county budget and accepts public input. It is all about the numbers. But before considering the budget numbers, lets look at people numbers. How many showed up for the meeting? We counted twelve, including three KCA directors. How many there from the Administration? We counted eighteen.
While KCA is a non-profit with no paid staff, we never ask for a dime to support our all volunteer organization. We simply ask that the allocation of funding for the capital improvement projects (CIP) is fairly distributed by district.
We do this by simply looking at how much is proposed for West, Central and South. West and South are of course the major revenue producers. Central has a large population, so seems reasonable that they each get a somewhat equal percentage of the CIP.
BUT in 2018 it was:
- Kihei Makena (KM) 7.7%
- West Maui (West) 25%
- Central (WK) 30%
Sound fair to you? us neither. And this was not just the current allocation; 2017:
- West = 25.9%
And that is the pattern, year after year.
So what is the purpose of these meetings? It is for the district community members to express their input to the various county department directors. So we presented our findings, going back more than a decade, to Budget Director Lynn Araki-Regan to indicate this chronic imbalance and hope that maybe this year it might be different, (feeling somewhat like Charlie Brown considering kicking the football).
Director Araki-Regan explained how the numbers and percentages can be modified during the budget year by budget amendments. We agree that can happen. Any district can end up with more or less than what is in initial budget. But when you go in every year on the short end, WAY on the short end, the logic says that is where you will end up.