Monday, June 27, 2022 |
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• New county charter
• More on bridge
• Ode to ‘Olohena
New county charter
The County Council has decided we need a new county charter. No doubt their prime motivation is to get rid of that pesky clause that allows for charter amendments via ballot initiative. That would save them a lot of time in executive session, as well as a lot of money used to hire outside lawyers to prevent anything decided on by the voters from actually being carried out.
I, too, feel that the charter definitely needs change. But I doubt if my proposed changes are what the County Council and their appointed ‘Charter Commission’ have in mind. How about reducing the council to five members – each elected from one of the five island districts, with residency requirements in each district? How about term limits so that some fresh ideas have a chance to surface? How about a professional county manager? How about greater citizen involvement, with increased scope for referendum and initiative on our ballots?
Instead of a “commission” appointed by the old boy/girl network with the goal of consolidating their power and control, let’s do the right thing and hold a charter convention. Let us elect delegates to the convention from all walks of life here on our island. The existing power structure will be a valuable resource during the process, but the decisions should be made by the people and their elected delegates.
Further, instead of a finished document handed down from above for the voters to either accept or reject, the final convention product should take a modular approach so the voters will ultimately be able to pick and choose the best form of government for our needs. Only in this way will our government be truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Or am I just daydreaming?
More on bridge
Joe and Peggy Watson of Kapa‘a have it absolutely correct in their March 12 letter to the Forum regarding the ‘Olohena bridge project. I don’t cross the bridge on a daily basis as they do, but I very frequently use that back road in order to avoid the heavy traffic on Kuhio Highway.
I, too, live in Kapa‘a, in the Homesteads section, and to think that Mayor Baptiste is willing to have the road closed anywhere from seven to 18 months is complete insanity.
As I crossed the bridge yesterday, my thoughts were the same as the Watsons.’
There is absolutely no reason on earth that a temporary side bridge can’t be constructed prior to the new bridge construction.
Their point is well taken about using prefab sections for the new bridge, and I can’t help but wonder if Mayor Baptiste and the DOT have given this any thought or even investigated the idea.
Closing this road could prove to be disastrous for the thousands of people who live not only along ‘Olohena Road, but all those living on the roads that feed off of it, in cases of emergencies such as fire, medical response teams and police.
Ode to ‘Olohena
There once was a bridge we have known,
Its closure we’d like to postpone.
A bypass costs dough,
So the Mayor says no!
Can someone please get him a bridge loan ?
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