Letters for Tuesday, July 8, 2008

• Why the fear of change?

• I prefer an elected chief executive officer

• Present question to voters

• Lasting memory

Why the fear of change?

I read both Phil Tacbian’s letter of July 4 (“County manager vs. strong mayor,” Letters, July 4) and Glenn Mickens’ response letter of July 5 (“It’s broke, let’s fix it,” Letters, July 5) regarding the county manager vs. strong mayor controversy.

I have to agree with Mr. Mickens.

Mr. Tacbian evidently comes from the old school of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” That credence (not the man) is older than the hills. Today we strive to improve the situation, not simply sit on our butts for decades. Poor leaders are stubborn and feel threatened by anything different. The status quo gives them someplace to hide behind and insulates “them” from “us.” Good leaders constantly search for improvement from various sources and include ideas from their constituents. They don’t dictate. I think Mr. Mickens would agree.

The list of things “broke” in Kaua‘i government goes on and on, but Jonathan Chun, the current chairman of the Kauai Charter Commission, not only claims no one has convinced him problems exist, he evidently can’t see any for himself either. Me thinks he, like the King in a child’s fable, doesn’t realize he has no clothes on. Who picked this guy anyway?

What could possibly be wrong with the “idea” of wanting someone with business credentials over a nice guy with a big heart (or ego) to run/lead our county government?

Mr. Chun, get this topic on the ballot for all of us to vote on. I personally don’t think you can see the forest from the trees so don’t just shut the whole idea down.

Educate us, don’t dictate to us.

Vince Cosner


I prefer an elected chief executive officer

I read both letters that Mr. Teofilo Tacbian (“County manager vs. strong mayor,” Letters, July 4) and Glenn Mickens (“It’s broke, let’s fix it,” Letters, July 5) wrote regarding their opinions about mayor and manager forms of government for the county of Kaua‘i.

Mr. Tacbian favors leaving the current form of government as it is now — an elected mayor. Meanwhile Mr. Mickens favors changing to a managerial form of government.

I agree with Mr. Tacbian because I also favor an elected mayor for the executive branch of the county. I favor having a chief executive officer in the executive branch who is elected by the electorate of the county rather than having a manager appointed by the County Council. Accountability and responsibility of the executive officer is with the electorate rather than to seven people on the County Council. Essentially, this reduces the balance of power for the county in that there will no longer be an executive branch for the county of Kaua‘i.

Moreover, Mr. Mickens suggests that Mr. Tacbian’s status quo suggestion is a “misplaced way of thinking.” I am curious if I fall into the same category as Mr. Tacbian wherein my thought process is also misplaced and in error.

It is obvious to me that Mr. Mickens finds fault with the current executive branch of government. I also believe that he found fault with the executive branch for the last 10 years.

People of Kaua‘i, don’t be fooled into thinking that a change in our form of government today is a bad one. It has worked for many years and it shall continue to work for many years to come. As Mr. Tacbian said in his letter, no broke, no fix. I add yet another thought, and that is fix that which is broken with careful examinations of the facts. The Office of the Mayor is not the problem, so there is no need to fix that. There is no problem there.

Mr. Mickens, do you honestly believe that should others not have like-thoughts as you do, they must be wrong? Perhaps so … perhaps not.

Sonny Gerardo


Present question to voters

Regarding whether a council/manager charter amendment should be brought to Kaua‘i’s voters for consideration, it seems those who either are currently or previously connected with our council/mayor system, can find many reasons to oppose and delay it, but can find no reason to merely allow Kaua‘i citizens to consider and vote upon it the democratic way.

Something smells.

Kaua‘i’s people are not stupid. They do not have to be protected from themselves. The council/manager question should be submitted to the voters. A lively examination and discussion would then ensue with the Kaua‘i voters deciding what is best for Kaua‘i. After all democratic government is meant to be “by the people, and for the people,” and not be a political career path for politicians or patronage prize for their friends.

Stop the delaying tactics and present the council/manager question to the voters.

Donald Bodine


Lasting memory

I propose that we rename the bicycle path “The Bryan Baptiste Memorial Bikeway” in honor of Mayor Baptiste’s foresight and dedication to preserving our coastline for generations to come.

Dan Teter



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