Thursday, January 25, 2001
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Posted at 10:45 a.m., January 25, 2001

Harris says he'll pay worker raises, but doesn't rule out tax increase

Full text of Mayor Jeremy Harris' speech
City gets national soccer tourney

Advertiser Staff

Honolulu Mayor Jeremy Harris pledged the city will pay negotiated pay raises for public workers, but said such raises and other costs are straining the city's budget.

Harris said he will "work hard in the coming budget to keep property taxes lower than in 1994," when Harris was elected mayor, but he did not rule out a tax increase.

Laying out his accomplishments and proposals in his State of the City address scheduled at 11 a.m. today, Harris called for a high-tech park on city land at Manana in Pearl City.

Harris, who has been ad odds with public worker unions in the past, called for reform of civil service rules, saying one hour of unscheduled work can result in 12 hours of pay for some workers. Contract requirements of that kind create obstacles to good management and limit the city's flexibility, he said

Harris also backed state legislation that would allow the counties to contract work from the private sector if it proves more cost efficient.

As expected, the mayor also announced that the city will host the AYSO National Games. The games could pump $10 million into the ecconomy, he said.

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