Kym Pine releases statement on Mayor’s proposed budget: Council needs to adjust budget to prepare for unknown impacts of virus
News Release from Office of Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine, March 3, 2020
Honolulu, Hawaii – Mayor Caldwell released his proposed capital and operating budgets for the 2021 Fiscal Year.
“I applaud the Mayor’s efforts to increase staffing at HPD, Emergency Services and Ocean Safety and to repair O‘ahu streets, but we need to refocus and prepare for the possible impacts of the COVID-19 Virus. A decline in tourism revenue could significantly affect our economy,” said Pine. “We also have a significant shortage of mental health and rehabilitation facilities and services directly related to our increasing houseless populations.” As a mother, Councilmember Pine has advocated for refocusing city funds on basic city services and housing for the homeless, the mentally ill and those with drug addictions.
“We should hold off on ‘nice-to-have’ projects like construction at Blaisdell Center and focus on fiscal prudence,” said Pine. In 2019, the Department of Enterprise Services reported to the City Council that the Blaisdell Center operates at a deficit each year. The 2021 proposed Capital and Operating Budgets would increase City expenditures between 5% and 9% from previous years.
Councilmember Kym Pine represents residents of District One, comprising portions of ‘Ewa Villages and ‘Ewa Beach, Kapolei, Makakilo, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Ko ‘Olina, Nānākuli, Mā‘ili, Wai‘anae, Mākaha, Kea‘au and Makua) and is chair of the City Council’s Committee on Business Economic Development and Tourism.