P.T. Barnum’s famous quote—”There’s a sucker born every minute”—accurately reflects on Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative’s misinformation and propaganda campaign.
The truth is this. KIUC is not a legitimate nor real cooperative.
When its founders discovered they could get massive funding to become a cooperative in order to purchase Kaua’i Electric, they formed KIUC.
KIUC has made major and permanent policy decisions without involving any general co-op members. Real cooperatives insist that important decisions should always be decided by its members in the manner of democracy. This simply has not happened.
One must ask why KIUC agreed to pay $270 million for KE in addition to a borrowed $50 million to forestall any electrical rate increases for two years. This brings the total cost to $320 million. No co-op membership has agreed to pay these outrageous sums.
Apparently, KIUC is counting on good old P.T. Barnum’s axiom of a sucker being born every minute.
The true appraisal value admitted by KIUC is around $160 million. Imagine the interest rates which electric utility users ultimately would be required to pay in addition to electricity costs.
KIUC assures the public it will not have to suffer any consequences if bankruptcy occurs. Bunk! Rates most certainly would have to be raised by any lending agency assuming such a catastrophic debt.
Voodoo economics like this can doom any business, leading to bankruptcy not only for KIUC, but also for Kaua’i itself.
Additionally, we now learn that Denny Polosky, KE’s current chief executive officer, is scheduled to head KIUC.
Again, the now non-existent KIUC membership never had a chance to select Polosky. Co-op members rightfully should have decided on Mr. Polosky’s selection.
If this embarrassingly obvious sleight of hand is allowed, the Garden Island will be known as the Garden of Suckers.
Mr. Polosky never lifted a hand, never said a word to promote a decrease in the nation’s most expensive rates during his tenure at KE. He now threatens to raise rates if the KIUC deal is not approved by the Public Utilities Commission. Public welfare be damned.
Further, Paul Lucas of Lucas Solar Water Heating presented embarrassing evidence at the recent KIUC information meetings showing KE gave special treatment to its own employees for great deals in purchasing solar heaters which were not ever made available to the public. Instead, the public was required to prove a high usage of electricity to qualify. Polosky truly never promoted conservation of electricity. Is this really the sort of person qualified to provide co-op leadership?
Alan Oshima, attorney for both KE and KIUC, has said most of the people want KIUC. Abraham Lincoln said you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. If all the trusting, intelligent people of Kaua’i take the time to see through the corrupt schemes of KIUC, no one will be fooled.
A.P. YORICK, Kapa’a