Letters for Sunday — December 25, 2005

• Not a speed racer

• Charter Review bills

Not a speed racer

I would like to respond to the recent criticism by Juan Wilson on 12/21 of a letter of mine. Juan states that “Eric advocates that slower drivers get out of the way of faster drivers”. I would like to refer to the official “Hawaii Driver’s Manual” published in conjunction with the state Department of Transportation. On page 28, it states:

“You must not drive so slowly that you hold back other traffic. If you cannot keep up with traffic, pull off the roadway and let other traffic pass or change to another route.”

This is reliable information from the same manual you study for your driving test. I agree with Juan’s statement, “Selfish driving is not a solution.” The people who drive as slow as a snail, disrupting the normal flow of traffic, with no concern for other drivers, are a perfect example of selfish driving. They should realize that they are advocating a high priority for their use of the road over the interests of others. It’s selfish. How is a slow driver not selfish?

Juan also stated “I doubt if Eric has spent much time in real traffic.” Another false assumption. I have visited all the western states, Canada, Mexico, and fifteen national parks. I have driven in rush hour traffic from San Diego to Vancouver. Extensive travel is not needed to experience traffic problems.

I am not a “speed racer” as Juan has suggested. I drive a reasonable speed, like most drivers. For some people driving the speed limit is considered speeding. I do advocate that people obey the law.

  • Eric Voorhies

Charter Review bills

On Dec. 7 the Charter Review Commission met with its main agenda item consideration of three bills introduced in the County Council for ordinances to regulate the petitions used by citizens seeking charter amendments, initiatives and referendums and recalls as authorized by the Charter.

As the bills stated that they had been introduced by Council Chair Kaipo Asing, he was scheduled as the principal witness on their behalf. He began his testimony with the statement that at the end of his present term he will have served twenty two years in the County Council. It was about the only definite statement he made. Although the bills say that he introduced them he offered no justification for them. He didn’t know what would happen if the bills provisions were presented to the voters and the voters rejected them. He didn’t know why commissions requiring council appointments weren’t functioning. He didn’t know why people didn’t trust him. He didn’t know if being a council member should be considered a full time job. He didn’t know that when the agenda called for public comments on his testimony it was time to stop talking and allow others to speak. All in all his remarks were a convincing demonstration of the wisdom of term limits.

Although County Clerk Peter Nakamura made a workmanlike commentary as to why the Elections Division wanted to have standardized petitions he failed to justify the provisions restricting the petitions and those who wished to use them. He was vague as to whether or when the County might act to revive the bills which are now tabled. So the Charter Commission remains uninformed why our County officials wish to enact ordinances governing the processes given by our Charter for citizens to use when they believe that the government or certain officials had failed to act in the public interest rather than allowing the rights and procedures for them to be expressed in the Charter.

It is suggested that the Commission should discontinue efforts to learn why our County officials want to alter the existing Charter provisions and instead hear public views about constructive changes that might be made so that citizen petitions might more effectively serve their intended purpose.

  • Walter Lewis

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