Concerned citizens want to Kaua’i to get a fair shake

To The

Forum:

Before Mr. Bertrand starts calling names and pointing fingers

(Letters To The Forum 5/28) perhaps it would behoove him to do some research on

this very important issue as the learned concerned people have done who he so

quickly criticizes. A few of these people have spent countless hours at the PUC

office examining thousands of documents to sort out fact from fiction. And

remember that these people are only concerned citizens willing to spend their

time and effort to see that the residents of Kaua’i get a fair shake in their

electric bills. They have nothing to gain except the satisfaction of knowing

that they did their homework and asked the questions that need to be

answered.

One is Dr. Raymond Chuan – and yes, Mr. Bertrand, this brilliant

scientist got his doctorate from one of the toughest universities in the U.S. –

California Institute of Technology and earned the right to be called Doctor. It

showed a lack of respect when you wrote, “I noticed again that the so-called

Dr. Raymond Chuan…”

Then there is the fine soft spoken lawyer from

Princeville, Walter Lewis, whose legal opinions and numbers that he has put

together show that this co-op as designed by the KIUC people won’t work – are

well respected.

Another is Dr. Penny Neil whose specialty is medicine and

engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology – another very

brilliant, outspoken person who has no dog in this fight, but wants to help

protect the people – even you, Mr. Bertrand.

And Mike Edwards has many

years of experience in co-ops on the mainland and he too agrees that these

numbers as outlined by the KIUC just won’t work. Instead of criticizing these

people for “putting their fingers into the gears of progress again” you should

spend 1-100th of the time they have at the PUC office and listen to both sides

of the story before you make wild derogatory remarks. And furthermore, Mr.

Bertrand, while you’re singling out Dr. Chuan and “his retired friends from the

mainland,” please don’t forget to include our County and the Department of

Defense, as they are intravenors in this process and thus are also “coming out

of the woodwork to try and put a rod in the gears again.”

No one is saying

that a citizen owned co-op isn’t a good deal and shouldn’t be explored. But the

people, the County, the DOD, our Consumer Advocate and the PUC want to see that

it is, in fact, a deal that will benefit the people for years to come.

For

your information and for the information of other concerned citizens out there

who want facts and not just glossy words from the KIUC, both the CA and the DOD

(representing PMRF as an intravenor) have asked KIUC for a quantitative

accounting of how KIUC will calculate its rate. KIUC has not, as yet, responded

to either the CA or the DOD on this very important question.

And, this is

really the key point in this whole debate. In KIUC’s own documents “section D:

Key Public Interest Points 2. Rates: No immediate rate change – The purchase

price agreed to by KIUC would not cause electric rates to increase

immediately….” Is the operative word here “immediately” and does the omission

of a “when” word leave the door open for the increase? How does KIUC plan to

bear the heavy burden without raising the electric rate? All the experts

(neutral parties with nothing to gain in this venture) who have examined the

figures that are available at the PUC conclude that KIUC cannot operate in the

black no-way – no-how. Any talk about deferred interest or principal payments

just delays the day of reckoning.

One other extremely important point here

is that Gregg Gardiner has repeatedly stated that should the co-op go bankrupt

“these loans are no-recourse loans” meaning that the rate payers are not

personally liable for the loans. Sure, the lenders can’t come to your door and

possess your house and car but they can get their money back by having whoever

takes over our utility company raise the rate – simple as that! In this special

kind of bankruptcy, you can’t just file Chapter 11 and walk away. The revenue

into this enterprise (bankrupt or not) is guaranteed and as long as we, the

people of Kaua’i, need electricity we will by way of our monthly bills pay off

this debt-make no mistake about it.

I want to thank our county, the DOD,

our consumer advocate, the PUC and mostly Dr. Chuan and his “retired friends

from the mainland” for getting involved in this venture to find out the facts

before the deal is consummated.

Glenn Mickens

Kapa’a

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