Letters for Monday — October 31, 2005

• Keep information in public’s hands

• Pride costs people money

• Officials changing their tune

• More on the McCloskeys

Keep information in public’s hands

I wish to congratulate The Garden Island and in particular Andy Gross for the extremely informative articles on the KIUC apparent misuse of our money.

This is exactly the reason why we have “Sunshine Laws” to keep the public aware of where our money goes. The Office of Information Practices is the people’s watchdog and should in no way have its hands tied by interagency lawsuits.

Let’s keep information in the public’s hands to stop all these “closed door” meetings. It’s our money and I, for one, want to know where it is going!

  • Geoffrey Culverhouse

Pride costs people money

To all those whining about the KIUC leadership’s alleged extravagant spending: get a life and get a second job. Kaua’i is a part of the USA: land of the free and home of the knave.

The land where top officials of business and government feel free to dip their well-manicured digits into the public or corporate trough. Hey, they are our exalted leaders and we elected them to lord it over us.

Remember when Lord Gardiner first proposed the purchase of Kauai Electric from Citizens for about $280 million. The best price we’d ever get, said he. And we could take pride in owning our own utility and maybe even get lower rates. But those old cranks, the nitpickers, opposed the sale for that price and were successful in getting it nixed. You remember the nitpickers. They brought you that horrible ‘Ohana Kauai Tax Relief Charter Amendment that the voters foolishly approved despite the cry of ruin from the County Council.

Amazingly, Lord Gardiner was able to put together a $215 million proposal. A steal, says he. Still too much said the nitpickers, the appraisal for that old oil-burning equipment being about $180 million. A good deal nonetheless, said the County Council.

So look, you whiners, we own a “pride of ownership” utility because of the wisdom of the county officials you elected. Pride costs money people. How much pride can you have in your utility if its leaders aren’t traveling about the world at ratepayer expense or traveling around the island in rate-payer-purchased automobiles? What’s happening here is All-American, all the way. Pay those electric bills with pride and keep the party rolling.

  • Biff Whiting

Officials changing their tune

The front page TGI article of Oct. 20, 2005, advises that the County plans to issue nearly $50 million in general obligation bonds to fund capital improvements and to retire currently outstanding debt. The article notes that the new bonds will have improved ratings from two of the three bond raters.

The proposed bond issue follows a meeting between County officials and bond rating firms. It appears that in some respects the rating firms were misinformed or misled by the County. A Fitch release on the meeting states that the agency considered “some uncertainty regarding revenues collected on 10-15 percent of the county’s real property tax base”. The release goes on to say that taxes are currently collected under an ordinance “put in place in response to a voter-approved charter amendment” which was ruled un-constitutional and is now under appeal and that the ordinance “grants more in tax relief than the amendment” because it covers all owner-occupied residential property while the amendment covers only about 2/3 of these properties.

In fact, the coverage of the current 2 percent increase limit ordinance and the increase limit provision of the amendment are virtually identical. However, the ordinance CAN-NOT provide more tax relief than the amendment because in addition to its 2 percent limit the amendment also reduces taxes based on ownership in earlier years. If the County wishes to offer a refutation of these facts they are invited to try. They could, in addition, try to patch up their reputation for honesty with the bond raters.

It is of benefit that the County’s new financing will enjoy somewhat smaller interest costs because of the improved ratings. But we should remember that before the 2004 election at which the Ohana amendment was adopted County council members and the Mayor were badmouthing it and saying its effect on county credit ratings would be devastating. Isn’t it interesting how easily our government officials can change their tune from scare mongering to glad handing?

  • Walter Lewis

More on the McCloskeys

I’m glad Jennie Loke Pereira has resurrected the atrocities from under the ‘mud’ of time inflicted by the Mc-Closkeys.

Let’s not forget the hours and years in hearings, tax dollars wasted and criminal neglect by County and McCloskeys, especially the reckless harm to the ocean and reef.

Consider also, or remember those coral reefs that take decades to heal and at this fast rate of criminal over-development, those decades can easily compound into centuries — or annihilation.

The McCloskeys, as we are all aware, brought their I-Me-Mine attitude of disrespect to sacred islands from Colorado where they were so unmindful they were exposed there too.

As far as deeding or donating land to county; nothing was ‘given’ by them without a guarantee of something in return. In the first place, that stretch of land was not theirs to give, deed or otherwise — they have been messing around with Crown Lands. There are eventual consequences.

Greg Kingsley’s exhaustive dissertation in the Forum on Oct. 27, seemed more to confirm the wrongs by the McCloskeys than to exonerate — something that nobody on THIS island or in Colorado will do unless they’re on his payroll.

As to McCloskeys’ purported ‘contributions and charity’ to the community; first of all, if there wasn’t an influx of land and resource usurpers coming here there would be no need for ‘charity’ and second, sincere charity is anonymous. But the McCloskeys always manage to honk their own horns very loudly for every meager, tax-deductible crumb by way of big photo ops in ATTEMPTS to clean up their permanently soiled images.

I won’t forget what they did and the arrogance that accompanied their bad deeds and it is still continuing.

  • Elaine Dunbar

Truth about the indictment

American people must know the truth about the indictment. The Bush White House will try to minimize the significance of today’s indictment. The American people must know that today’s indictment is about the White House cover-up of the lies that led our nation to war in Iraq.

  • Catherine Clement

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