Letters for Sunday, June 8, 2008

• Follow the paper trail

• Ride the bus

• Arsenic is quicker

• His courage should inspire

Follow the paper trail

Listen my children and you shall hear not of the midnight ride of Paul Revere but rather of  the bumpy ride of a citizen trying to get information from our county.

The Garden Island had a front-page article (“Property tax reform bill proposed,” A1, June 2) reporting that the mayor had submitted a bill to the County Council to amend the real property tax system. I called the author of the article, Nathan Eagle, and asked if he had seen the bill and was advised that he had not, his story was based on a May 30 press release from the mayor.

So I called the County Clerk’s Office and was informed after a couple conversations with staff who did not know anything about the matter that, in fact, the bill had been hand delivered to the clerk’s office, but that the council had not reviewed the bill and could not release it until such review and its placement on an agenda for a meeting. The clerk’s office did not know whether the bill had been reviewed by the County Attorney’s Office.

Being interested in the actual terms of the bill, I called the County Information Office. At first I was informed that the bill was at the clerk’s office and information about it would have to come from them. When I pointed out that it was the mayor who was making the submission of the bill and that he certainly should have a copy, the information officer said that may be, but she did not have a copy of the bill. She also advised that she did not know if the bill had been reviewed by the County Attorney’s office. She later called back to say that the bill would be posted on the county’s Web site by the close of the day. It should not have been a great surprise when it was not.

When the mayor issues a press release about a matter, it should be possible to get information about what he is talking about. But that is not the way it works on Kaua‘i.

Glenn Mickens


Editor’s Note: The proposed bill was posted on the county Web site, www.kauai.gov, on June 3 and is still available for viewing.

Ride the bus

With the prices of gas going up (average around Kaua‘i is approximately $4 per gallon for regular), why don’t we utilize The Kaua‘i Bus’ Hurricane ‘Iniki mode, which includes more stops for each town. I’m pretty sure more people would ride it now.

Also, we should have bus service all the way from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Mana to Hanalei. Run the buses on weekends from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. During the weekdays extend the hours to 10:30 or 11 p.m. The county should purchase or lease two more buses and have them running the routes so there are shorter waits between stops.

What about it Mayor Bryan Baptiste? We have $2.2 million to purchase more buses and still make small improvements around the island.

Lets help conserve gas, Kaua‘i. Ride the Kaua‘i Bus!

Howard Tolbe


Arsenic is quicker

In response to Friday’s letter from Steve Hansen of Kekaha (“2 percent promises,” Letters, June 6):

Steve, I, too, have had similar treatment on an assessment appeal. Don’t feel too bad, there’s more to come. If you are complaining about the stated remedy to outrageous increases in assessments being the 2 percent cap, let me tell you the new prescription. Penicillin is giving way to poison.

The new tax bill just proposed by the mayor does away with the 2 percent cap. There will be no limits as to how high your taxes can be raised. County government costs have increased 200 percent over the past 10 years. What does that say about your tax bill?

Steve, the treatment you are getting as a tax pauper can be much worse than the remedy that exists today. Without a tax cap, what is a resident homeowner to do?

It’s quicker with arsenic.

Monroe Richman


His courage should inspire

I don’t know who the writer of the New York Post editorial is that ridiculed Scott McClellan’s change of heart, but he/she doesn’t seem to realize that there is a higher authority to which we all must answer. McClellan seems to have a conscience, and is ready to accept the pile-on of denunciations and insults to atone for his sins. His sins were public, and so his reparation must be.

Hopefully, his courage will inspire others to examine the things that they do when they are just following orders. A certain Christian higher authority once said that the repentance of one man was cause for rejoicing, and I tend to agree with him.

McClellan may have been “forced from his job,” but, while he had his job, he was forced to be the mouthpiece of a deceptive administration. It’s clear to see, now, what the consequences of following your conscience are. It’s not something that those in the hallowed halls of power easily accept. Men do distasteful jobs, or lose them. Whoever hasn’t suffered the fear of firing can cast the first stone, but the real issue behind this smokescreen is that our corrupt leaders are unrepentant about the death and destruction they’ve caused.

Michelle Dick



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