Letters for Tuesday — January 03, 2006

• Show me the money

• It’s the infrastructure, people


Show me the money

Like all owners of KIUC, I got a copy of the Winter 2005 KIUC Currents in the mail. It’s a glaring example that our KIUC Board and Senior Management still don’t get the message: We want our KIUC committed to minimizing our costs for safe, reliable electricity, not wasting money.

KIUC is still being run as if it were a profit-making operation with profits to spend on activities that do nothing to reduce electricity costs. The 24-page magazine — prepared, printed and mailed with owner/member money — is an example of this attitude. It’s glossy and in color rather than on inexpensive paper and in black ink. Half a page is the Board’s member-paid-for “Happy Holidays” card to us. Two pages are answers to the questions asked by TGI months ago and which TGI would probably have printed for free. One whole page touts as “savings” the $3.8 million returned to owners from the money KIUC management took from us that was known to be in excess of costs. Another page worth tells us the wonders of Cooperatives. (But we really don’t have a choice, do we?) Four pages are devoted to food recipes. Two pages are ads for unrelated non-profit organizations. Two pages are devoted to KIUC selling light bulbs “below cost” with the money from sales going to charity. (Guess who paid for the light bulbs in the first place. This KIUC owner would rather decide where my charitable giving will go rather than have KIUC decide for me.) Another whole page advertises the 2006 Calendar of Student Art we all received “free” in the mail, except of course we paid for it. If these expenditures were being paid for from the profits of a profit-making company, it would be a different matter. But KIUC’s “profits” are supposed to be coming to us.

The Board encourages us to believe that Board costs are such a tiny, tiny fraction of total costs that they don’t really matter. Wrong. The Board is responsible for setting the standard for cost accountability. If this Board doesn’t place priority on reducing its costs, what message does this send to management and those doing the real work? If senior management doesn’t focus on reducing the cost of its overhead, will real workers be motivated to look for cost reductions in the areas where they work? If cost reduction is to happen, we need a KIUC Board and Senior management for whom cost reduction is a way of life and where employees from the very top on down are given incentives to look for ways to reduce cost. We need a KIUC Board and Senior Management that asks at every turn, “Is this cost necessary?” and encourages every employee to ask and act on that same question.

  • Kathleen Bailey
    Anahola

It’s the infrastructure, people

If something is not done to relieve the traffic flow problems that exist today, the vacationers that visit Kaua‘i will be talking about sitting in their cars and not about the beauty on Kaua‘i.

If all the Development Projects are allowed, without the associated Infrastructure requirements, this island will come to a standstill.

Why visit Kaua‘i to sit in traffic just like you do when you are at home? Seems like a waste of valuable vacation time….

The Planning and Building Departments MUST require developers to put the infrastructure (roads, utilities, sewage, drainage), in place, BEFORE starting their development projects. The volume of people on the island must be able to move around the island easily and in a timely manner. Infrastructure upgrades must be Island-wide.

The other solution would be to stop all development and limit the number of people allowed on Kaua‘i.

Yes, everyone talks about infrastructure, but the hard decisions, forcing real action, are not being made by the Planning and Building Departments.

Why is no action being taken? Where is the payoff? The developers get rich and the residents get stuck with nothing but frustration and the loss of their lifestyle.

Please keep this issue up-front and in everyone’s face. Do not let anyone stop thinking about infrastructure. If you create enough thinking, discussion, and possible anger, the people will force the Planning and Building decision makers into action or get them replaced by someone that really cares.

  • John Kress
    Kapa‘a
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