Letters for Thursday, July 24, 2008

• Timeshare owner discrimination unfair

• O‘ahu laws favored

• Dedication admirable

• Park ready to enjoy

• Superferry vote?


Timeshare owner discrimination unfair

I’m writing to express my concern regarding the proposed doubling of property taxes on timeshares and rental properties in Kaua‘i. Kaua‘i marked my first visit to the islands and holds a special place in our heart. Over the years, our family has spent a great deal of hard-earned money in your community. We have been patrons in your local restaurants and shops and have enjoyed participating in numerous tours and attractions with our family and friends. We’ve enjoyed it so much that we’ve brought our parents, who also purchased a timeshare, as well as friends and co-workers who contribute to the local economy.

We understand the County Council of Kaua‘i is considering these increases to the property tax structures in timeshares and rental properties to dramatically reduce property taxes for Kaua‘i residents by an average of 31 percent. Since the proposal is designed to be “revenue neutral,” timeshare consumers will be taxed unfairly to fill in the gap. As timeshare owners, we feel personally that we should not be singled out for the unfair tax. Given the current economic conditions, if this proposal is passed, we will have to reconsider our travel expenses while on Kaua‘i. Kaua‘i is our second home, and instead of supporting the local economy, we would be forced to boycott restaurants and activities in order to comply with your proposed property tax increase. We will explain to tour guides why we are no longer using their services. If we do go to a restaurant, we will explain to wait staff why their tips are being withheld. We will encourage them to complain to their county council members if they are unhappy with this situation. We feel like we are being treated like second-class citizens on the island of Kaua‘i instead of loyal tourists who return every year to contribute to your local businesses.

Please do not discriminate against timeshare owners by creating this unfair property tax.

We are counting on your aloha spirit.

Paul and April Tolbert

Clayton, N.C.


O‘ahu laws favored

Last week I wrote about how the structure of our Legislature unfairly supports O‘ahu-centrism in state government. It gives O‘ahu the majority of the legislators and, hence, the votes in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to O‘ahu thus virtually assuring that laws favoring O‘ahu are passed.

There is a second way that both houses of the Legislature control bills favoring O‘ahu. House and Senate rules give the chairperson of all of their committees veto power over the decisions made in each. That’s right. No matter what position the committee members vote to support on a proposed bill, the chairperson can override it. So much for democracy. In and of itself that may not seem O‘ahu-centric unless you know that only once since statehood in 1959 has there been a committee chairperson who was not from O‘ahu.

The House and Senate control the rules for their respective committees but you can over-ride them. How? By voting “Yes” on the Constitutional Convention and supporting an amendment that stops your disenfranchisement via committee rules.

And again remember, our state Supreme Court has ruled that not voting on the con con is equivalent to a “No” vote so you must vote “Yes.”

 Al Rabold

Kula, Maui


Dedication admirable

Thanks to the dedicated teachers and staff at Koloa Elementary School for their dedicated work in helping their students achieve their annual yearly progress goals under the federal “No Child Left Behind” program. 

Under the leadership of Principal Debbie Lindsey, Koloa has made huge progress in its continued efforts to achieve continued excellence and the best for each of our keiki. Raising educational standards like Koloa has done over the past two years takes hard work — but it’s clear that Koloa has teachers, staff and a principal who want to make that happen. We should all be proud of one of the island’s oldest and best schools.

David Lane

Koloa


Park ready to enjoy

A belated mahalo to the clients and staff of the Kauai Drug Court.

On July 11, we cleaned our adopted Hanama‘ulu Beach Park, the roadway, the beach and painted parts of the pavilion, bathrooms and shower area. We would also thank the other agencies that keep the area clean and neat: the police, DLNR, county park rangers, custodians, grounds crew, Hanama‘ulu residents and the canoe club. Thanks to the Friends of the Kauai Drug Court for lunch, and Mr. Eddie Sarita for trash bags and paint through the Adopt-a-Park program.

A special mahalo and aloha to Bryan J. Baptiste, who now supervises from above, and was kind enough to bless us with a beautiful day. His vision and support of the Kauai Drug Court and other related programs is forever appreciated.

To the rest of the island, come visit, the park is ready for you to enjoy.

Alton Amimoto, coordinator

Kauai Drug Court


Superferry vote?

It’s still up in the air whether or not the people of O‘ahu will get to vote on the rail transit system. The “Go Rail” guys don’t want a vote because they fear rail will be voted down. The “No To Rail” guys want the issue put to a vote because they think that most people are against it.

Then I got to thinking, what if the people of Kaua‘i were to take a vote on the Superferry? “Yes” we want it, or “No” we don’t.

Each side of the table thinks they are in the majority. I wonder … do you believe in your position on the Superferry? Is it strong enough to let the voters decide?

Stan Wright

O‘ahu

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