February 1996 Home   Newsletters

March 1996

April 1996

President's Message (Suzanne Meisenzahl)
League Criticizes East Honolulu
Budget Committee Report (Arlene Ellis)
LWV-Honolulu Proposed Budget FY 1996-97
Court Monitoring Underway
Bremner to Speak on Waikiki Controversy
Membership Directory
Ah Quon McElrath to Speak at Annual League Meeting

Budget Committee Report

In this climate of "downsizing" government, we in the League of Women Voters of Honolulu must also look toward "down-sizing". The cost of running the League has increased over the years while income production (in our case, vote counts) has slowly decreased – with a sharp down-turn this past year.

Some of the jobs lost came about as a result of opposition to League's position while others were due to unforeseen circumstances such as canceling elections due to the lack of candidates running for office, and the federal intervention in the Teamsters' election. We lost the Neighborhood Board Elections in 1993 when we disturbed the City Administration by objecting to including a "straw vote" on rail transit to be mailed out in the same packet as the Neighborhood Board ballots, thus compromising the integrity of the election. Touted as a "money saving" action in 1993, it is interesting to note that the powers-to-be are again talking about saving money-this time by including Neighborhood Board Elections with the State General Elections, disregarding the fact that neighborhoods differ from voting districts and that citizenship is not one of the criteria for casting Neighborhood board Election ballots.

Whatever the reason, circumstances are such that the Budget Committee was forced to take a hard look at our expenditures and use a sharp scalpel to cut where we could. The result may be disappointing to some, but we have in the past lived with much less without compromising the integrity of the League or having to sacrifice any of our programs.

Dues have remained at $30.00 per year for at least ten years, even when we had to subsidize $.50 per member to meet the required per member payment increases to State and National a few years ago, and still do. In order to balance this very restricted Budget, the Budget Committee recommends that the nominal increase in dues of $5.00 per year be made.

Per member payment to State and National League, as well as operating expenses such as rents and utilities are basically fixed costs and have only minor areas that can be touched. The Budget Committee decided, however, that there was room for cuts under the category of Communications by going back to in-house reproduction of the Membership Directory and the Aloha Voter, as we did for many years. This move will of course require member participation in running the operation. With the slow-down in vote counts, we may be able to utilize the person power we have had in that activity and transfer it to Voter production.

Another area we are cutting is Convention expenses. The Budget Committee recognizes that League's leadership comes from differing income levels and we certainly do not want to discourage participation in State and/or National Conventions and Councils because of lack of personal funds. However, during this pinch, we feel that for the Fiscal Year 1996-97, we can subsidize only registration fees for the Honolulu delegation.

Until we can figure out ways to find other sources of income, the Committee has agreed that our Budget must of necessity be "LEAN AND MEAN".

March 14, 1996

Honolulu Budget Committee

Arlene Kim Ellis, Chair
Jean Aoki
Pearl Johnson, Treasurer
Yvonne Kearns
Astrid Monson

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