Letters for Friday, July 4, 2008

• County manager vs. strong mayor

• What about Realtors?

• ‘Road guys’ doing well

• More war the answer


County manager vs. strong mayor

I am writing in favor of keeping our present form of county government. I was serving in the county of Kaua‘i government system when we went from the board of supervisors to the council/mayor. We wanted to separate the powers of the legislative branch from the executive branch and it was a good thing. We now have complete separation of powers. Morris Shinsato and the rest of the commissioners at that time did an excellent job in drafting the Charter that we now have.

Under a county manager form of government, the legislative branch, the council, will appoint the manager and the manager will report to the council or the mayor, depending on how it is structured. In our present setup of the council, four members would be able to appoint the manager as compared to 14,000 or 15,000 people voting for the mayor. I would prefer the 15,000 voting for the mayor.

I visited three cities in Southern California, Compton, Monrovia and South Pasadena, which are under a city manager form of government. One of the city managers stated that you cannot get away from politics as long as you are appointed and report to elected officials. The quality of life there is not any better because of their form of government.

There are many forms of government in our country. There is a commission form, like Portland, Ore. They have five commissioners who act as the council, however they all have administrative functions as department heads. They legislate and administer the laws. There is no separation of powers. However, I don’t hear the people of Portland complaining about their governmental structure.

The point that I want to make is that there is nothing wrong with our present form of government. It’s the people who run the government that makes it work or not work. Just because we don’t agree with what our officials do, does not mean that we should change the form of government. Switching to a different form of government will not solve the problem, if there is any.

The Seattle Times reports that several Northwest cities have had city managers resign because of conflicts with their appointing authority. These cities include Kirkland, Spokane, Bothell and Federal Way, to name a few. So it does not matter what form of government you have, there will be conflicts. It is the people who make the difference.

I can go on and on, but I’ll close here with these last thoughts. There is nothing wrong with our present form of government, let’s keep it the same. There are many people in our community who share my concerns. Everyone I talked to agrees that we should preserve our present form of government. Old local saying, “No broke, no fix.”

Our county government is not broken.

Teofilo Tacbian

Kapa‘a


What about Realtors?

Joseph Brescia’s offer to sell his property on the beach in Ha‘ena is one that all concerned should consider (“Burial property offered for sale,” A1, July 1). It is troubling to me though that Brescia was not aware that the property may have burials when he purchased it in 1999. Anyone who has lived on Kaua‘i knows that those ancient dunes along the shoreline are filled with iwi. If he is looking for some sort of recompensation then he should look toward the real estate agents who were involved in the sale. There should have been disclosures concerning what is very well known or easily discovered. The real estate community has a great deal of culpability in so willingly selling sacred lands and in the development of these sites for homes and vacation rentals without fully admonishing newcomers of what is entailed in the ownership of such lands. By the way, when is the DLNR going to enforce the provisions that go along with the purchase and use of lands (ie: no vacation rentals, limited development footprints, archaeological supervision for any below-ground excavation, etc.) in adjacent coastal areas under its custodianship?

Christian Smith

Honolulu


‘Road guys’ doing well

I agree with Terry Caplan that the road from Kilauea to Princeville could use some work (“Section of highway in need of attention,” Letters, July 3).

There are some pretty scary potholes, and scarier drivers who suddenly swerve into the oncoming lane to avoid them. It needs work. Maybe a short-term solution is for the locals to spray-paint around the potholes with a neon reflective paint, then we’d be able to see them coming at night.

I would not agree with his assessment of the stretch from Anahola to Kilauea, however. It was similarly rutted and potholed and needed repair. Since I drive that piece everyday, I am grateful that they repaired it and did such a good job of it.

Given the volume of potholes they have to deal with, I think that our road guys do a great job. Mahalo.

Peggy Kemp

Kapa‘a


More war the answer

I wish I had the talent to make political cartoons. I would draw one showing “the administration” putting a Christmas present in the stocking of an honorable but wounded, perhaps crippled, and certainly over-worked veteran. The present would say “War with Iran.”

With Iraq slowly failing, and Afghanistan escalating, with the election in question and the economy a problem, we need something. With gas at $4 or more per gallon and on its way to $7 per gallon, it’s time for another diversion.

What better than another war?

Another war would be easy to start. We have a recent history of not having to bother about other forms of serious diplomacy first.

It will have to be quick however, as Iraq is making friendly talk with Iran. That link, if established, could jeopardize our oil desires in Iraq.

There is the problem of Iran’s 40 million citizens under the age of 40 however. That could be a big army.

However, we could have surprise on our side. We have an established policy of preemptive war and of not having to plan either the entrance or extrication from the war.

All we need is a short plan/goal/intent statement such as “bomb them.”

It could all be done before the next administration takes office … Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

I seriously hope my fear proves to be wrong; honestly, I’m scared.

Scott Robeson

Wainiha

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