Letters for Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Term limits just might help

Ordinarily, I oppose term limits in municipal elections. Although I cannot speak for Kauai, term limits only became fashionable on the Mainland after women and minorities succeeded in being elected to office.

However, one of the Kauai County Council members is so disrespectful and seemingly uninterested in what is going on that he used an earphone to listen to a ball game while important issues were being discussed before the council. Hopefully, he will be voted off of the council in the coming election. If not, I can only look forward to term limits eventually doing the job!

Linda Estes, Koloa

Speak up Wednesday about excise tax

In January 2019 our County of Kauai surcharge on state tax will be raised half of 1 percent to supposedly bring in about $25 million per year for basically repaving our badly deteriorated 300 miles of county roads. The key word here is “supposedly” since a past check of our income for roads repairing, numbers given me by our fine Finance Director Ken Shimonishi shows that from our fuel, weight and public franchise tax totaling about $17 million a year, we were only using about $1.2 million of it to actually pave our roads.

However, it is also very obvious that adding this new excise tax to everything we buy, every service we use and is a very regressive tax that older people and even people without vehicles will pay is not right.

Using plain common sense it can be seen that if only about 1/17th of monies taken in now from taxes specified for our roads goes there, why are we to believe that a new regressive tax raising $25 million will go to repaving our roads — the major talking point for implementing this tax?

So now, to give back the taxpayers a “gift” for imposing a new tax the council is proposing to lower the vehicle weight tax and the fuel tax by about $4 million a year meaning that if all these measures are passed in 2019 we, the taxpayers will get a net loss of $21 million — $25 million less the $4 million — great logic?

Let me suggest a proposal with a better ending.

First, eliminate the excise tax that was passed by a 6-to-1 vote of this council. Only Chair Mel Rapozo had the courage, the foresight and the guts to vote no on this tax. His research obviously showed enough waste in the $17 million taxes taken in to pave our roads — eliminate that waste and all other waste that our late auditor Ernie Pasion found and no new taxes are needed.

Then really give the taxpayers a break and lower the weight and fuel tax as proposed and have a net gain in their expendable income.

Please, people, write, call or come to the next Council Committee meeting on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. and testify when Bills 2679 and 2680 come up and tell all members to pass these two bills only when Bill 2670 (excise tax bill) is eliminated.

Glenn Mickens, Kapaa

  1. gordon oswald January 30, 2018 7:35 am Reply

    Democrats are incapable of running anything. The proof is in the cities, towns, and countries run by their philosophy practicing partners in selfishness. Thank you Glenn for telling it like it should be. Unfortunately you’re talking to a crowd whose majority will demand “the rich pay for everything, the middle class is transferred to the poor class, and everyone, other than the “rich” get’s free stuff and a government job.” President Trump is showing these selfish “humans” how success only comes from hard work, everyone paying their fair share, monetary programs that create jobs not welfare, and all the rest of what it takes to make a strong and prosperous country. Thank you President Trump for being a voice of reason in a sea of self motivated and naïve “humans”!

  2. Steve Martin January 30, 2018 10:13 am Reply

    Mr. Mickens… You are right by adding the new excise tax it’s going to increase everything we buy, every service we use and as regressive as it is, it’s not right. If this to be, then the tax on medicine, food, and clothing should be reduced or eliminated by all of those citizens you speak of. However; the costs and maintenance all of our highways, roads, bridges, sidewalks, and any other means of getting from point Ato point B on this island regardless if we drive, bicycle or walk should be shared by all citizens. I feel the only people exempt would be those who at no fault of their own are our handicapped citizens.

  3. Steve Martin January 30, 2018 10:39 am Reply

    Linda Estes… I feel what you are saying. Term limits are probably our only way to get rid of council members you speak of. I would almost bet my savings on who you are talking about. I believe I read he is one of those who is termed out this next election. When it comes to our”popularity contest” elections it’s very difficult to get rid of these people who are nothing more than high paid volunteers with no creativity or direction. Hopefully if my most recent letter gets printed it will offer our residents a whole new direction of getting our council to move our island in a more professional efficient direction for all citizens services and needs.

  4. Steve Martin January 30, 2018 10:52 am Reply

    The problem with term limits is for those who truly qualify for the job are not looking for a two year job. It’s the method of how we get council members that has failed us. Where else in the world can you get a part time job that with benefits, training and no experience for a starting pay of nearly 70k a year? Really!

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