Updated: October 1, 2022
Citing cost-of-living increases, Maui County Salary Commission voted this morning to boost by 5% the pay for Maui’s mayor and council members effective July 1.
Maui council members are the highest paid in the state, but they have not seen pay increases since 2013, officials said.
“They basically got their pay lowered by inflation,” commissioner Peter Martin said ahead of the vote. “I would like to try to fix that a little bit.”
Martin added that he wants the commission to consider in the future lowering the council’s pay by a considerable amount.
Other members said data from Hawaiʻi counties should be taken into account when determining Maui’s salary for council members.
“I, like commissioner (Scott) Parker, find it very difficult to add more money to people who are already $5,000 more than everybody else in the state for the same job,” commission chairman Clark Abbott said.
The Maui County Council chairperson is the highest paid in the state at $82,225. Hawaiʻi County pays $77,016; City and County of Honolulu is $76,968; and Kauaʻi County is $76,452, according to a document by David Underwood, county Personnel Services director.
Maui County Council members are also the highest paid in the state at $76,475, followed by Hawaii County, $70,008; City and County of Honolulu, $68,904; and Kauaʻi County, $67,956.
City and County of Honolulu mayor is paid $186,432; Hawaiʻi County’s mayor receives $162,582; Maui County’s mayor earns $151,979; and County of Kauaʻi mayor gets $142,062.
Maui mayor and council member raises will match a recent 5% pay hike for county department heads, which will also start at the beginning of the new fiscal year.
In a letter to the commission March 24, Victorino said he supports the pay raises for the department leaders and council members.
“An increase at this time is appropriate to keep pace with the rising cost of living,” he said. “More recently we have seen the price of many goods and services increase because of the significant shipping costs and rising fuel prices.”
Victorino added that the council has not received a pay increase since 2013.
The mayor in the letter did not reference the proposed pay raise for his salary.
A county spokesperson Friday afternoon said Victorino was unavailable for comment on the vote.
The salary commission voted 5-2, with one excused, to increase pay for the mayor and the council during its regular meeting this morning. Affirming votes included Grant Nakama, Andrew Ho, Tambara Garrick, Martin and Abbott. Dissenting votes were Edwin Misaki and Scott Parker.
Also Friday, the panel deferred an item to consider salaries for the new county Department of Agriculture director and deputy director.
The volunteer commission is charged with determining compensation for county leaders.