Letter for Monday, February 5, 2018

Council districting can, should happen

Today, Thursday, Feb. 1, I was fortunate to share a short conversation with Gary Hooser. I shared my support for his idea of districting for County Council members. He shared with me interest in keeping our discourse civil, for which I apologized for my past trysts.

We rode the plane to Honolulu, and both jumped on The Bus. My MediCare card allowed me a $1 fare. Being younger, I think Gary had to pay full fare, $5 for an all-day pass. With Honolulu being the worst traffic in the nation, The Bus is the only way to travel.

Anyway, several years ago, signatures were obtained for a successful petition to put council districting on the ballot. The County Council put its own version of districting on that year’s ballot. Both districting measures passed, causing the County Clerk to nullify both.

The Charter Review Commission wrestled with the districting question over the years, with substantial support. The sticking point is determining the districts. Gary’s idea of using the three established state representative districts has a lot of merit. Council- members could be one or two per district, and the remaining council member(s) voted at large. The total count should probably remain at seven.

We should make this happen.

Mike Curtis, Koloa

  1. Imua44 February 5, 2018 5:58 am Reply

    Mike, yes Gary is a nice guy. He is personable. But he has been against local housing, Ag, PMRF, hotels and locals. He is for high taxes, for the latest national fads and essentially, sort of an ambassador for wealthy mainlander ideas. Gary has never seen a tax he didn’t love. His last tax on 2nd homes, raised rents by 200 to 300 per month. Nice is good, tax is bad. Gary is an extreme tax man….

  2. Steve Martin February 5, 2018 12:41 pm Reply

    Mike Curtis….. Council districting won’t do any good to solve the issues of the council and how it operates. We have a “popularity contest” for our council and Mayor. Decades of back logs and problems created by the way we elect council members has never changed and not until we change it nothing will make a difference including districting. We need to hire the people so we get professional well educated experienced independent people who know how to manage and run our county business. Our population, services, needs, and growth are at a point that we no longer can vote your born and raised neighbor, family member, or friend who has a landscape business and we expect him or her to take two years of training at 70k a year to learn how to kick a can down the road as the track record of what we have gotten for decades with the way we have elected council members. Granted I feel there is people who can help the situation , but no one can unilaterally make it work unless everyone is on the same page. And for that people with a resume of education, experience, professional background should be hired by a panel of people from our administration to work together with a county manager not mayor to run our county’s business. Then you will see the results of experience to move our island forward. Where in the private sector do we hire inexperienced people and pay them nearly 70k a year for training and still don’t know what they are doing?

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