• Mahalo, mayor
• Cookie monsters
• Dogs, a luxury
• It’s broke, let’s fix it
• Spread movie’s message
It is with deepest regret that we have learned of the passing of Mayor Bryan Baptiste, a dear friend. The Kaua‘i Republican Party would like to take this opportunity to honor his memory and express our condolences to his wife, Annette, their children and family.
Mayor Baptiste, a caring person, dedicated public servant and a devoted supporter of the people of Kaua‘i and the Republican Party, enriched countless lives and made a difference. He will be sincerely missed. May his family know the high esteem in which his memory is held by the people of Kaua‘i and all who knew him.
Kaua‘i Republican Party
Board of Directors
I agreed with parts of Stan Godes’ Fourth of July commentary (“My country ‘tis of thee,” Guest Viewpoint, July 4), especially the Jack Kevorkian part. But there is one thing I felt the need to point out. We hear the same argument every election time about the “hard workers” and “the moochers.” The Republican-libertarians stir the hardworking masses into a frenzy about how “the moochers” are taking all the cookies out of the cookie jar. All the while the corporate elitists, the ones who run the giant government by “lobbying” our politicians, eat everybody’s cookies. They’re eating the poor’s cookies, the middle classes’ cookies and all those “hard workers” cookies’. I’d rather see a government that maybe spends a little too much on helping the poor, whether they deserve it or not, than one that uses that same fear to rob all of us blind. I would like to believe Roger Daltrey when he says “We won’t be fooled again.”
Don’t be fooled Stan. You can’t live free if you don’t live akamai.
Dogs, a luxury
I love dogs but they are a luxury. Why not horses on the path, we are tax payers too? From the second story of my home I watch every morning and evening as a parade of dog owners “walk” their dogs. The percentage that “pick up” after their dogs are one out of 20 — yes, one out of 20. Every morning I walk the perimeter of my home digging up and cleaning up the mess. I’ll take sea breezes, fresh and clean for my tax dollar.
It’s broke, let’s fix it
The recent letter in the Forum from Phil Tacbian (“County manager vs. strong mayor,” Letters, July 4) about a potential county manager system for Kaua‘i offers the classic stand pat position. He says that there is nothing wrong with our present form of government, if it is not working blame it on the people who run it. That is a misplaced way of thinking.
Anyone who follows public affairs on our island knows that there are serious problems. In the last 10 years county spending has soared from $60 million to $156 million, an increase far greater than is justified by inflation or population growth. Instances of wasteful procurements and poorly controlled expenditures abound. Look at our bridges and our Eastside walk-jog path.
This is not a case, as Tacbian says, of “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” The standard of qualification for mayors on Kaua‘i is that they must be 30 years of age and a resident. The requirements for a chief executive with operating and capital budgets totalling over $200 million should be far more demanding. In the typical county manager program the manager has an advanced collegiate degree in community affairs and over 10 years of practical experience in administration.
On Kaua‘i at present there is a critical breakdown in accountability. Both the mayor and the council are well aware that we do not have a smooth and efficient government. Our council frequently seeks information and assistance from county department heads by requesting their attendance at council meetings. Regularly the administration thumbs its nose at the council and simply does not appear. With a county manager accountable to the council (which the mayor and his staff are not) lack of response would not occur.
A county manager system is a proven practice in effect in most of the counties of our nation of comparable population to ours. It is our best chance to have a more efficient and less wasteful government on our island. It should be warmly supported by our people.
Spread movie’s message
Recently I had the opportunity to watch Pixar’s latest film, “Wall-E” and was stunned by the incredible themes of social and personal responsibility the film suggested that we as a people have toward our planet’s environment and toward one another. If there was ever a film that Hawaii parents should show to their children, it should be that film. The movie deals with issues like overpopulation, pollution, depletion of natural resources and most importantly, the power of love to perfect all things. There’s one scene in the movie which portrays the entire fate of humanity coming down to obedience to a single “directive” to save the last plant in the galaxy but the characters learn in that moment that the highest directive of all is really the directive to love one another and to protect with all our heart those who love us. I think in a place like the Hawaiian Islands where we are trying to find the right balance between saving our culture, protecting our aina, and showing compassion toward one another, a movie like that is a great example for our children. I highly encourage everyone to see that film.
Daniel de Gracia, II