Letters for Wednesday — February 01, 2006

• Fear and opportunity

• Overcome by events

• Achenbach contract up?

• Where is the aloha?

• There must be other issues


Fear and opportunity

You may soon have a chance to vote for or against a county manager system, but don’t hold your breath. During its 1/23 meeting a majority of Charter Commission members said they would not be comfortable in placing the matter on the ballot even though it might lead to greater efficiency and accountability in government.

Change always wears two faces: fear and opportunity. I favor adopting a county manager system, but only if we embrace it as an opportunity to improve government.

Changing to a county manager system will be a major step, but it wouldn’t be earthshaking. It would redefine the mayor’s role by transferring administrative responsibility to a professional manager, and it would give the council the power it needs to fulfill its oversight responsibility.

About half of local jurisdictions in the country use the system. tions What I heard from Charter Commission members is that they fear the change so strongly that they don’t want to risk letting the voters decide. I have more confidence in the voters than that.

When I observe a fear that sometimes approaches paranoia in the times words and actions of government officials I understand why they oppose the change. Do the voters share their fear? The only way to find out is to place the measure on the ballot.

It would not trouble me if the voters reject a county manager system.

It would trouble me if they are denied the opportunity to decide.

  • Horace Stoessel
    Kapa’a

Overcome by events

Unknown to many of Hawai’i’s voters was that before Rep. Ed Case announced a primary challenge to Sen. Akaka, another Democratic primary race was underway.

Quietly drawing conservative and independent support, a veteran of the Global War on Terror was preparing a democratic challenge to Rep. Neil Abercrombie. His message was change but that message has been overcome by events. He and his staff have since determined that in no way would Hawai’i voters simultaneously change all three of its federal delegates up for reelection so they’ve terminated their plans for a media blitz in March.

Now exploring the possibility of a run as a wildcard to replace Rep. Ed Case, this conservative Democrat, Noah Hough, could put a scare in the broad field of Democratic Party insiders.

  • Shannon Hough
    Honolulu

Achenbach contract up?

Rumor has it that Mr. Achenbach’s contract is up shortly. Has the board found a replacement? Are we going to hear who the candidates are and their qualifications? Including that of Mr. Achenbach if he is still a candidate? That would be a pleasant surprise to be let in on who it may be.

Randal Hee was passed over for a promotion in August of 2001 and then he resigned in Sept. 2001 as Operations Superintendent. In Feb. 2003 he was then elected to the board, then he resigned in August 2003. Exactly one year later which is the mandatory waiting period before a former BOD is eligible for employment at KIUC, he applied for the COO position. In October 2004 the hiring committee rejected Hee’s application for COO finding he did not meet the minimum qualifications set forth in the job posting.

Strangely enough, although there were several excellent candidates that applied for the position, the hiring process was halted and the COO position withdrawn by the chairman of the board.

A new position was created, for which Mr. Hee was appointed, he is back again. Are we again going to be led by yet another unqualified CEO of KIUC?

  • Marjorie Lewis
    Kapa’a

Where is the aloha?

A lot of people here still have aloha spirit, but there seems to be more and more who can only say the word, and not live by it.

As one quick example, with the rental housing right now.

Some 95 percent of all the houses for rent say, “no pets.” Just because you had a tenant who didn’t wipe their dog’s paws, doesn’t mean everyone won’t care for your house.

You cannot always make your kids wipe their feet, but you can make sure with a pet.

You can rent to people without animals, and they can do more damage, or just not stay long, and then you have to go through the rental process again, six months or one year later. Kids can do a lot of damage, a fighting couple can do even more. Or someone who is an alcoholic or drug abuser.

Some 95 percent of all the houses for rent say, “no HUD.” These people need help, that’s why they get HUD. Many of them are single mothers who had a no-good husband or boyfriend.

Meet these people first, and put in the contract that you get to check the house every month, and rent to them month-to-month.

These two small things are very telling about how much aloha, and empathy, the people of Kaua’i seem to have today.

When all we have are selfish people without empathy or aloha, then what are we?

  • Dennis Chaquette

Kapa’a


There must be other issues

I, for one, am growing weary of the ongoing “scientific” debates that have been occupying the letters to the editor too often of late and doubt if I am alone in this feeling. Don’t we have many more current palpable issues and opinions that deserve the space? Surely someone out there is writing in about something else that truly affects Kaua’i and the people who call it home.

  • Petrina Britt
    Princeville

Web poll

Check out our online survey at www.kauaiworld.com. Current question: Can any police chief effectively run the Kauai Police Department?

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