Mayor Peter Carlisle didn’t veto any of the budget bills passed earlier this month by the Honolulu City Council. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s happy with their work.

While signing some measures into law and allowing others to become law without his signature, Carlisle made his frustrations plain in a memo to the legislative body on the last day he could have issued any vetoes. Much of his concern focused on his perception that the council had overstepped its bounds and stepped on his toes as the city’s executive.

The memo was sent to council Chair Ernie Martin Friday afternoon and includes explanations for why Carlisle declined to affix his signature to some of the bills. It was not yet on the city’s Docushare website as of Monday. Civil Beat obtained a copy from the Office of the City Clerk and has posted it in its entirety at the bottom of this article.

In particular, Carlisle said he declined to sign the capital budget for next year because the council included a proviso that requires his administration to review alternative technologies before constructing a second sewage digester at Sand Island. That had been one of the final items hammered out earlier this month.

“The determination of need for and parameters of a study as well as the evaluation and analysis of a study are generally part of the executive function to determine whether to proceed with the project, the manner in which to proceed and the scope of the project,” Carlisle wrote. “The inclusion of these restrictions on the appropriation is contrary to established principles regarding separation of legislative and executive powers embodied in the Charter.”

Carlisle noted that a council member has requested that the State Procurement Office determine if Synagro can build the second digester for the city without the project going out for bids again.

Civil Beat covered the continuing fight over the sewage digester:

Carlisle also refused to sign three bills related to the budget for the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation.

“My position, based on legal review by the Corporation Counsel regarding these Council-initiated bills, and the City Council’s position, is well-documented as a result of last year’s budget process,” he wrote. “It would not be productive at this time to rehash the points to which we respectfully disagree.”

Civil Beat covered the brinksmanship during the 2011 budget process:

Carlisle also objected to the council’s decision to move funding and responsibilities from the Department of Budget and Fiscal Services to the Department of Community Services — a decision that should be left to the mayor. But he signed the operating budget anyway.

Read Carlisle’s full memo to Martin here:

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