LOS ANGELES — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell returned unsigned several bills related to the executive operating budget, expressing concerns that  restrictions placed by the City Council on the provision for vacant positions and salary increases may hurt city services.

"I proposed a bare bones budget that strengthened core city services after several years of fiscal restrictions, and that proposed a modest increase in the fuel tax rate to fund increases in bus services and pay for road improvements," Caldwell said in a letter sent to the council Monday. "The City Council rejected the increase in the fuel tax rate and added a total of $10 million to $11 million in grants-in-aid and other expenditures to the executive operating budget."

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