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            Mayor Jeremy Harris announced today that due to City Council budget cuts the Waipahu Satellite City Hall and the mobile satellite that serves the communities of Ewa Beach, Laie, Haleiwa, Mililani and Salt Lake will cease operations at the end of the work day on June 30.


            “Throughout the budget process, we have made it clear to the City Council that their cuts to the Satellite City Hall system would result in the closure of at least two satellite city halls but they refused to restore funding to keep these offices open,” Mayor Harris said.


            “We even proposed an amendment to the budget bill to restore the funding because the Council Budget Committee had budgeted $400,000 unnecessarily in next year’s budget to purchase a piece of property. As it turned out, they had already budgeted the $400,000 in this year’s budget. It made common sense to use this double-budgeted money to keep the satellites open.


            “Regretfully, only two councilmembers supported our effort so we will now have to make the cuts,” he added. “The announcement on the second satellite slated for closure will be made next week.”


            The Waipahu Satellite has been operating from the Leetown Center on Farrington Highway for the past three years after moving from a site near the Daiei store. It has been serving the Waipahu community and surrounding neighborhoods since October 7, 1974.


The number of transactions processed at Waipahu has been declining since the Kapolei Satellite City Hall opened in February of 2001. Many Waipahu residents are also using the Pearlridge Satellite because it’s open Monday through Saturday.


            “This is a sad day for our Satellite City Hall program which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year,” Mayor Harris said. “Previous councilmembers have fought hard for satellite offices in their districts but this council felt reducing the number of satellite offices was an inconvenience our customers could accept. We don’t agree, but they cut the budget anyway.”



Friday, June 13, 2003

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