The City Council slashed the mayor’s operating budget and companies that lost in their bid for a lucrative rail contract with the city are putting up a fight. Civil Beat is reporting from the inside.

HGEA Agrees to 5% Labor Savings

4:10 p.m.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie‘s office announced a deal between the state, counties and labor union HGEA. According to the governor’s office, the two-year contract — which runs through June 2013 — would include:

  • A 5 percent reduction in base pay for public employees without furlough days or layoffs

  • An equal contribution for public workers’ health benefits between public employees and the State and county governments

Read more about the political dynamic of this year’s union negotiations.

Carlisle said he would need at least 5 percent in savings from unions in order to maintain a balanced budget. Deals with the United Public Workers union, as well as police and fire unions, have yet to be announced.

Council Grows Capital Spending

11:39 a.m.
Honolulu City Council members want to increase spending on capital improvements. They outlined hundreds of millions in proposed increases in amendments submitted to Council Budget Chairman Ernie Martin.

Some of the key proposals Council members included:

  • Adding $32 million for roads
  • Restoring $355 million in rail funds, to restore council oversight of the new transit agency’s budget
  • Millions of dollars in improvements for a skate parks, recreational facilities and other parks
  • Tens of thousands of dollars for traffic analysis in Kailua, and around University Avenue

Read the full story.

Hey, Mr. Mayor! Are You Listening?

9:03 a.m.
In a move that appears designed to get the attention of Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, City Council Transportation Chairman Breene Harimoto proposed an amendment to Carlisle’s budget that would shift $500,000 to the City Council “to cover possible legal expenses for the City Council relating to the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.”

It’s a signal of how far the City Council may be willing to go to defend its oversight of the new agency. Council members are battling the administration to keep approval powers over the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit’s first budget.

Read more: Honolulu City Council Battles Administration For Control of Rail Agency, March 17, 2011.

Previous Editions of Inside Honolulu

April 5, 2011: Council member Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo says her deployment to Afghanistan is unlikely; HART nominees still not official; City cites $1.4 billion for Ansaldo contract.

April 4, 2011: Todd Apo and Don Horner surface as mayor’s possible picks for transit authority; Tom Berg nominates Panos Prevedouros for transit authority; State awaits results on more dengue cases; Losing rail bidders set for debriefs.

April 1, 2011: Gov. Neil Abercrombie taps former City Council candidate; GOP wants Nestor Garcia ethics investigation; Budget Chairman Ernie Martin schedules two special budget meetings.

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