Prioritize our tax dollars

So, for our mayor’s latest junket to the far reaches of the world she found it necessary to hold a press conference (GI 7/6/00), to justify her using $10,000 of our tax money to take her and “at least four others ” to Tahiti. One of those “four” is our county attorney, Hartwell Blake, who, as the article states, is a member of a Kaua’i-based hula group. Maybe you hard-working Kauaians out there can help me figure out the reason for taking our island’s number one legal person (making $69,371 per year) to Tahiti for 11 days to participate in the hula!?

Let’s do a further analysis of the reasons that were given for taking this ‘high priority’ trip as printed in the above article:

1) “Kusaka, however, defended her latest trip to Tahiti” (does anyone detect a note of guilt here?) “and other trips to Japan, Philippines, and other places to establish sister-city relationships with Kaua’i. The pacts, she said, help break down barriers that might exist between people and foster good will.” (Guess this means that they also might not exist?)

Did you really want her to spend 10 grand of your money on this trip adding to the thousands already spent on the other trips, duplicating the 60 million dollars HVB has to promote tourism?

2) “Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, is the most dramatic connection between Hawai’i and Tahiti.” The Tahiti-Kaua’i pact, Kusaka said, is different because it is “culturally based.”

3) “On an official level, Kusaka will meet with government officials and look at technology used on Tahiti to generate electricity and dispose of garbage. In addition she will visit hydro plants, recycling centers and a recycling plant in Taravao.”

Wow, if our mayor has the expertise and knowledge to investigate and understand the way other municipalities handle their electricity, solid waste, and recycling problems, why hasn’t she and her administration solved these same problems that were and still are here when she took office in 1994?

Our landfill will be full in three years and one can only envision our tax rates going farther north than they are now to pay for barging our waste to O’ahu!

Please Madam Mayor, prioritize the use of our tax dollars! No more excursions — for culture or to entice more tourism.

Glenn Mickens, Kapa’a


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