Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023 |
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After hearing and reading some incorrect comments and information, I would like
to set the record straight and on a even keel.
Statement that the vice
chair of the Kaua’i County Salary Commission was the only one for the
recommendation to the County Council is wrong. This commission is made up of
seven taxpayers, each coming from different backgrounds and ability. Some have
private businesses of their own, from job market in local businesses, retired
and etc. Each member of this commission was in favor of our recommendation as
It was this commission that noted concerns of taxpayers and
raises and had as a part of the recommendation that these jobs should be
evaluated, promotions on performance basis so everyone that is a taxpayer would
get a fair shake and no free handouts.
Let’s face it, this complete affair
was turned into a full bucket of worms, as it would be politically Incorrec and
of course political suicide for anyone to be in favor of this recommendation.
Just for the record, over the last eight years, 21 taxpayers and citizens of
Kaua’i composing three Salary Commissions have all recommended a raise for
these individuals. Each and every one were turned down by the council, which
has control of the funding. We heard that this “just Isn’t the right time.”
Let’s face it, the “right time,” with each and every citizen happy and pleased,
our county completely trouble-free and having tons of money is a dreamland
fantasy we might find in that never-never land of long ago.
account that the mayor and these other individuals are not a member of any
union, they do not fit under collective bargaining contracts. Their only
support would be through the council, and we know what support this will be
today and tomorrow. Surely you noted where 882 county employees were up for
various raises – some taking home around $1,700, and I would bet they will get
what they want and us as taxpayers will carry the load again.
big bucks compared to what our recommendation asked. Don’t get me wrong, as I
am for these raises, but it should be on a even basis. Unless someone was
sleeping on watch, we all knew these raises were coming.
Now, we know that
some individuals in these appointed positions have departed Kaua’i to pick up
the same job on another island and a lot more money. We know that county
employees have in fact taken a step down in grade so they can get a pay raise.
We know that our young high school and college students are leaving the island
in search of a better way of life and more money. Looking at these things, you
can see there is a problem here on Kaua’i unless we look for answers.
some ways it appears we are doing business like the old ostrich who sticks his
head in the ground, just thinking it will all go away. When things like this
happen, they usually come home to haunt you down the line.
everyone knows we do have a real exodus of highly qualified people and many of
our future leaders. Surely we should take a long hard look why this is a
problem now and only will increase down the line.
As outgoing chairman of
the Salary Commission, I would surely recommend to the council that the charter
be changed and the commission be removed as a part of the charter. This has
proven to be a waste of time and effort for various concerned citizens of the
county, As in the past, we really serve no useful purpose. No, I am not bitter,
as I have been through two wars and know we might win a battle and the next day
lose the battle. Our ongoing concern is our battle casualties if we really won
or lost the battle. In this case, it appears a toss-up who might be the real
winner when the smoke clears.
As citizens and taxpayers, you should be
concerned what is really going on in that back room and if you are informed of
all the facts.
I might add that being a member of the commission is not the
most popular appointment in the county, and the pay surely does not meet
GENE BULLOCK, chairman
Kaua’i County Salary
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