15. HAWAI`I: Capital Budget and Capital Programs
QUESTION: Shall the Charter of the County of Hawai`i be amended to require that capital improvement priorities be based on criteria aligned with the County General Plan, County community development plans, emergency expenditures, and other pertinent functional plans?To see the proposed language changes and Fiscal Impact Statements prepared by the County of Hawai`i Department of Finance, go to https://www.hawaiicounty.gov/Home/Components/News/News/2444/.CHARTER COMMISSION SUMMARY: This proposal would add language to the capital budget section of financial procedures that requires that capital improvement priorities be based on criteria aligned with the county general plan, county community development plans, emergency expenditures, and other pertinent functional plans. The commission finds that there is a need to strengthen the linkage between planning and programming in the charter. This proposal would provide that linkage, while assuring flexibility in budgeting.FISCAL IMPACT: None known. This amendment changes the way the projects are prioritized in the capital budget. The amount to be spent on the capital projects is limited by debt service in the operating budget and the County's borrowing capacity.WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS: A "YES" vote means that you are IN FAVOR of the amendment and the Charter of the County of Hawai`i will be changed as proposed. A "NO" vote means that you are AGAINST the amendment and the Charter of the County of Hawai`i will not be changed as proposed.ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR: -By requiring that projects undertaken be in sync with the guidelines set by the long range planning documents of the county, capital improvement funds would be better allocated according to the public need rather than in response to immediate pressure or lobbying. -Provides flexibility to allow capital improvement funds to be used for emergency expenditures.ARGUMENTS AGAINST: -The wording is too vague to be considered a guide for allocating capital improvement funds. Projects that are clearly supported by the general plan and community development plans can easily be bypassed by simply designating another project as an "emergency expenditure" or included in an "other pertinent functional plan. Community-identified projects could languish for years before being funded.
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