Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 |
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• Ohana Kauai
• Kalapa comments
The People Have Spoken? I guess I was a little naive. I thought, with a majority yes vote on the Ohana Amendment, county officials would acknowledge the people’s wishes, and follow through with the relatively simple task of implementing the amendment.
No, here we have the Mayor and the Council, using taxpayer money to block a clear vote by the majority. It seems democracy is an illusion on this island, because surely this action by these elected officials goes against what a democracy is – government by the people. These officials have misused the trust that the public has invested in them.
If it’s not too much to ask, how about a little ego check, council members? We all have had times when it’s necessary to step back for a minute and re-evaluate how we are using our time and energy. How about putting energy into some of the many areas where you can make a positive effect for Kauaians? These legal blocks are not serving the people’s interest. After all, the Ohana Amendment is a change only in the “household” category of the tax structure – what about the other areas of revenue collection that don’t as directly affect residents? What about taxing vacation rentals?
Real leaders have the integrity to balance their personal goals with those set forth by the public. I guess we are still waiting to see that sort of balance on Kaua‘i.
The Garden Island has published many articles by Lowell Kalapa and has avoided letters from readers countering his comments. Once again, on Sunday, November 21, 2004, Mr. Kalapa puts forth a premise and by his reasoning, the “linkage” ( that’s his term which he used during a conversation with him) to a conclusion. Once again, Mr. Kalapa puts forth an erroneous premise with the consequences being an erroneous conclusion. It is time to stop this.
Mr. Kalapa describes the Ohana Tax Amendment as one that acts on behalf of people for which there is no undue tax burden imposed. This tax relief measure came about because of excessive burdens being imposed upon home owners. Mr. Kalapa apparently believes that the function of government is pure, unadulterated and evenly distributed among the stake holders in government, namely, the voters and taxpayers. History has shown this to be untrue. The burden of government on taxpayers has always been unevenly and unfairly distributed. Go back to the Whiskey Rebellion as one example.
The Ohana Amendment came about as a consequence of unevenly distributed tax assessments and unbridled government growth. True, the voters could have held County government responsible and accountable and voted out the incumbent Council members at the last election. Each of them has contributed to the failed government that exists on Kaua‘i. Perhaps at the next election there will be a better choice of leadership, including the Mayor. For now, our hopes and reality are tied to the failures of the past as demonstrated by our County Council. It is vital for the Council to heed the importance of listening to the voices and votes of the people. They spoke loudly and firmly on behalf of the Ohana Tax Amendment.
The tax burden will be shifted as Mr. Kalapa notes. Non-residents will pay more. Mr. Kalapa fails to note that the County Council enacted measures such as the Circuit Breaker and the tax cap without his saying a word. Shades of hypocrisy Mr. Kalapa.
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