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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 19, 2010

Hawaii mayor plans agency restructuring

By Nancy Cook Lauer
West Hawaii Today

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Harbor Square, on the right, was reflected in the windows of the Pacific Guardian Center on a sunny afternoon.

NORMAN SHAPIRO | The Honolulu Advertiser

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HILO, Hawai'i Parts of three county agencies would be combined into a new transportation department in a restructuring plan Hawai'i County Mayor Billy Kenoi plans to submit March 1 with his annual budget.

The restructuring turns the current Mass Transit Agency, headed by Administrator Tom Brown, into a full-fledged department starting July 1. The agency currently has seven positions and a $5 million annual budget. Bus drivers are contract employees and are not included in the position total.

The new department also will include the Department of Public Works Automotive Division, which has 29 positions and a $5.7 million budget, and the Department of Parks and Recreation Elderly Activities Division, which has five positions and a $664,380 budget. The Elderly Activities Section runs a shuttle service as part of its functions.

"I think it makes more sense to have the transportation service for the entire county in one department," Kenoi said. "We'll be better able to deliver multiple transportation services islandwide."

Kenoi said overall, his budget will include fewer employees and job positions than the current budget, which had already cut 55 vacant positions and 77 employees.

"It will hopefully reduce our costs," Kenoi said of the restructuring.