County departments seek 51 more positions

  • County Employee Bryan Lopez sweeps the green waste drop off site at the Kealakehe Transfer Station. Employees make up a lion's share of the county budget, which officials are currently trying to balance. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • Mahiti Crable, left, Alexa Shannon and Elijah Butler talk with Police Officer Ellsworth Fontes on Alii Drive in this file photo. The mayor is requesting 75 new positions in this year's budget, the majority for police. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today, file)
  • Firefighters set up the pool for the helicopter to fill its bucket for water drops on a brush fire south of Kaiminani Drive in 2016. Employees make up a lion's share of the county budget, which officials are currently trying to balance. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)
  • County employees by year
  • A Hawaii County Police Officer conducts a traffic stop in Kona in this file photo. The mayor is requesting 72 new positions in this year's budget, the majority for police. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

HILO — If department heads had their way, there would be 51 new positions added to the county workforce on top of the 72 already proposed by Mayor Harry Kim.