Letters for Sunday, September 21, 2008

• Ballot question wording changed

• Election fever

• A note of thanks

• Report on-the-water crimes


Ballot question wording changed

Were you upset when the county government filed suit against itself to get the Ohana Amendment overturned?

They are at it again. This time to prevent passage of a Charter Amendment to get them to comply with the Kauai General Plan. This Amendment would place responsibility for tourist accommodation building permits on an elected body, the County Council, instead of the Planning Commission. They could delegate the Planning Commission to do the job, but only if they passed an ordinance limiting the rate of increase in such building permits to a growth range specified in the General Plan. Based on average tourist visits this would be about a 1 1/2 percent increase per year, not the unlimited approach taken by the Planning Commission.

The Coalition for Responsible Government submitted the text and a ballot question synopsis to the county clerk on Sept. 3.

On Sept. 5 he submitted the text with no ballot question to the state Elections Office that will appear on the November ballot. The other five Charter Amendments all have synopsis ballot questions and the deletion of our ballot question places our Charter Amendment at a distinct disadvantage. We have had conferences with the county attorney, the mayor, councilmembers, Peter Nakamura (county clerk), and an attorney without getting the ballot question added as submitted.

The mayor advised that the council appropriated funds for outside legal assistance to deal with our Charter Amendment. This is the only Charter Amendment on the ballot that was initiated with over 3,000 voter signatures to get it on the ballot. Some members of the council have expressed concern about citizen initiatives, and, that the elected representatives should be the ones to do this work. They have had eight years to do what this Charter Amendment does and nothing has been attempted by our council. There was even one attempt to get a Charter Amendment that would have counted a non-vote on an issue as a “No” vote, but it was found to not comply with state law.

Why are they so afraid of the voice of the voters? The county clerk, probably at the direction of higher ups in government, have removed election fairness by submitting the ballot wording for our Charter Amendment on the November ballot.

My recommendation is a “Yes” vote on Proposition 4, a “No” vote on Propositions 2 and 3, and a “Yes” vote for new blood on the County Council.

Rich Hoeppner

Koloa


Election fever

It is a shame, given all the interest in the national election, that the results will be business as usual. Both Obama and McCain are outstanding, intelligent candidates and good men, but they are the product of the same system that is corrupt and extremely partisan in nature. If Americans truly want change, which seems to be the case, then let’s change the system to produce statesmen rather than politicians.

We must limit the terms of the national politicians so that statesmen will emerge who will lead us out of the morass that has been created over the last 50 years. Lobbyists could be marginalized by a system that limits Congressmen to eight years (four terms), Senators to 16 years (two terms) and the president to the current eight years (two terms). All Supreme Court appointees would serve staggered terms and be limited to 12 years. All judges below the federal level should be elected by the people. All federal elections should be totally funded by the people rather than special interests, so that a minimum of three candidates would be offered in each federal election.

The funding would be done by federal taxes paid by each citizen, distributed evenly among the candidates. That certainly would not be as expensive as the current bank and business bailout costs given to us by our elected officials. The tax would be the only funds each candidate could spend on his/her behalf.

Also each citizen would be required to vote if they have a valid drivers license or the driving privilege would be revoked. No lobbyist money would be permitted and all expenditures would be accounted for. I think we would be amazed at how many qualified, actually noble, not self-serving, statesmen types would begin to get involved if they knew there would be a level playing field, where a candidate could actually get elected without the pressures from special interest groups that most current politicians are beholden to.

Either of the two current presidential candidates will probably do better than the predecessor, but both have obligations to the special interests that supported them and keep them successful within our deplorable partisan system.

We, the citizens are the only real voice for change in the country, but I see no grass roots movement to make it a reality.

Maybe we could start it right here in Kaua‘i.

Richard Morath

Kapa‘a


A note of thanks

With all the changes and growth happening to our great island, it is nice to see some things have not changed and probably never will change.

Driving to work Saturday I passed all the sign wavers and such and when I passed Puhi I saw the folks from Kauai Island Utility Cooperative out picking up trash on the side of the road.

It reminds me of other times when I see the great people of PMRF and other companies and residents out doing the same thing. In other states I have visited the people picking up trash would be wearing “orange jumpsuits” and doing forced community service.

Are we not lucky to live in a place where people dawn an orange Tshirt and give their time freely to the community?

As we are out and about giving our honks and waves to our election hopefuls, lets give a honk and a wave to the people serving the community in another way. Thank you.

Ken Herman

Kapa‘a


Report on-the-water crimes

This letter is in response to the Sept.18 letter “Nearly run down on water” from Monty Downs.

I appreciate the fact that he knows that all of us who wake and ski on the river are acutely aware of everything that is happening on the river while we are there. We are all foremost safety conscious, and we are not the problem.

Downs is right anyone can go out and buy a ski boat, knock down a few beers and start speeding down the river right at Dr. Downs’ friend totally out of control.

The question is asked, “Is there a solution to prevent this?”

Real easy solution: Dr. Downs’ friend should have called the police and reported the out-of-control near miss. If a person goes out and buys a sports car and then downs a few beers, and then goes speeding down the street and drives a bicycle rider off the road, out-of-control near-miss, and you call the police, the sports car driver is in real trouble. It should be the same for an out-of-control boater downing beers.

We have enough government always trying to protect us from one another’s actions. Let the river be what it is and when someone does something stupid that endangers one’s life and safety then deal with it immediately.

Steven Martin

Kapa‘a

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