Editorial Roundup for Friday — April 14, 2006

• Traffic problems should top list of priorities

• Gonsalves should be next

• Council should reject the Mayor’s budget

• Moratorium would be wise

• Loves online edition

Traffic problems should top list of priorities

Attn: Mayor Baptiste At least part of your opening statement about our county roads was correct (TGI 4/10). Your statement that, “a combination of last month’s heavy rains and years of deferred maintenance have put members of contracted resurfacing crews behind in their work.” Through eight years of the Kusaka administration and three years of yours, the citizens have complained about the wrong methods that are being used to pave and resurface our roads. I have given testimony before the council many times (even when you were on it!!) and showed evidence where the county code book for paving is not followed. And yet, the facts that have been presented keep being ignored.

A bright note is that since Donald Fujimoto has become our County Engineer there are some positive signs of change and I really compliment him. If the roads are paved by our County code book — 4” of compacted sub-base with 2” of compacted Asphaltic Concrete (AC) for finish grade on new roads and 1 1/2” of compacted AC for resurfaced roads then the roads will last for 15 or more years — without pot holes!!! Heavy rain has nothing to do with rutted, pot hole roads — the original paving job is the secret to long life. The best asphalt paving contractor on Kaua‘i, Greg Schleper of Rainbow Garden Island Asphalt, (who had a paving business for 30 years in Minnesota) said that our roads on Kaua‘i without extreme temperature changes should last far longer than they do. He accredits most of the fast deterioration to not removing any cracked top course before the new layer is put down and this makes sense. He said that you wouldn’t paint a car without first removing the rust on it because the paint job wouldn’t last and this is a good analogy — so why aren’t we listening to words of wisdom from someone with experience? Sure, initially the cost will be greater but the longevity will more than make up for the higher cost.

And, Mr. Mayor, to repave a mile of our roads will cost anywhere from $130 thousand to $150 thousand depending on the location and width of the road AND that isn’t even removing the cracked base! We have 300 miles of county roads on Kaua‘i and under your watch you have been appropriating $1.6 to $1.8 million for the resurfacing program. This means that we can pave about 12 to 13 miles of our total roads per year and it will take about 24 years to pave them all — not the 10-year plan that your former engineer said it would.

Every person who drives a vehicle deserves to have a decent road to drive on. In the opinion of myself and many others, our horrendous traffic problem and the run-away growth that will ruin the very beauty that brings people from all over the world to Kaua‘i should be at the top of your priority list.

• Glenn Mickens


Gonsalves should be next

Attn: Ethics Commission Now that the Ethics Commission has run Commissioner Mike Ching out as Police Commissioner, I believe it is now time to start with Police Commissioner Leon Gonsalves or has everyone forgotten about his violation of ethics. Then we can start elsewhere and replace the no loads.

• Richard J. Swift


Council should reject the Mayor’s budget

County Councilman Kaneshiro is to be commended for objecting to the increases in the Mayor’s submitted budget. The other Councilmembers should follow his lead. Increasing the size of the government means higher costs for every future year. It is nearly impossible to eliminate positions once they are created. We’ve also had 30 vacant police positions being budgeted year after year ever since Mayor Kusaka refused to allow experienced police officers from Oregon to be hired. Every year this money is absorbed in some mysterious way. And are our busses so packed with riders that we need to spend over $1 million for that system? Where are the facts and figures? There was a time when Republicans stood for less government and lower taxes. But Mayor Baptiste believes that because he can pull in more taxes he should spend it. Meanwhile, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa has announced a 39% cut in the real property tax rate due to the same higher assessments as those occuring on Kaua‘i.

The Council should reject the Mayor’s budget and reduce the current tax rates for residential property. The agricultural rate should also be split to correct an injustice that assumes that a family farming a few acres for local consumption at the farmer’s markets could be making the same profits as a commercial operation of hundreds or thousands of acres. These hardworking folks are hardly surviving in this economy while helping to feed us and keep our food costs down. There are many who are conducting business out of their homes without paying higher taxes. The small local farmer should be treated equally.

• Fred Wells


Moratorium would be wise

Attn: Kauai County Planning Commission: Thank you for your wisdom in considering a building moratorium on hotels, condos, resorts, until the traffic congestion on our island is eliminated from our roadways and any infrastructure: dams, etc are repaired or replaced.

• Jane Taylor


Loves online edition

It’s been two years since I subscribed to The Garden Island’s full online version of your newspaper. I returned home to Kaua‘i two months ago for R&R and wondered which would be most convenient, the paper copy or linking through my laptop.

Would you believe in the privacy of my guest house room, sipping my morning coffee and reading the paper online won.

Having caught up with the days news, I jumped in my rental car to enjoy the wonders of Kauai. Your new online menu speeds up navigating through the newspaper. Thank you from a grateful reader.

• Gilbert O.

Furtado Toronto, Canada


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