Letters for Sunday, September 28, 2008

• Council realizing importance of informed citizens

• Winning options for all

• Early vote easy

• Let’s let lender writeoff short amount

Council realizing importance of informed citizens

Thanks to staff writer Nathan Eagle for his informative article “Council bandies bill to make county attorney opinions public” on the front page Thursday.

A continuing concern for citizens of Kaua‘i seeking to understand our governmental processes has been the secrecy of our County Attorney’s Office. At the Sept. 24 meeting of the council, members JoAnn Yukimura and Tim Bynum introduced Bill 2288 to bring Kaua‘i practices in line with those of the state and another county to have the county attorney make public its opinions on questions of law. This action to have the disclosures made by the attorney appears to have been taken because the council is baffled as to the steps it could take to make such opinions public, although adoption of a policy to do so is clearly within their power.

Earlier this year a proposal was made to the Charter Commission to have comparable legislation as a charter amendment, but the commission ducked the issue for reasons it never disclosed and it has now surfaced as a measure from the council. JoAnn does not like legislation to be made as a charter amendment and offered her view that an ordinance  “allows for greater public input.” The fact remains that only the charter allows the ultimate  public input — the vote for adoption. In addition, a charter provision can only be removed or amended by public vote.

I thank JoAnn and Tim for introducing Bill 2288, as the concept of the bill will allow increased public awareness of the factors that shape our council’s decisions and the adoption of the bill by the council is a fruitful sign that our county officials are recognizing the importance of informed citizens.

Glenn Mickens


Winning options for all

I am a Kaua‘i native now living on the Mainland. I have always been concerned with developments on the Garden Island. I am even more concerned when these developments benefit the few and create a negative impact to the masses.

With reference to the property on Naue point in Wainiha, it does not appear to be that the land developer made all of the proper clearances for purchase and development of this sacred property. Had all preliminaries been conducted, the burial sites would have been discovered and purchase and development may have been averted.

Reinterrment of iwi kupuna is not an option. That sacred piece of land was dedicated as their final resting place. The spirit of those intered there cannot be disturbed. Otherwise, severe consequences will follow and will affect all parties involved.

The State Historic Preservation Division, Kaua‘i-Ni‘ihau Burial Council, burial descendants, Hawaiian groups and the developer need to come to the table to determine possible options, as in a land exchange.

While living on Maui, a church organization purchased property in Kahana on Maui’s Westside. As preliminary plans were made for the church’s construction, it was learned that the property included a registered cemetery of a prominent Hawaiian family in the area. At that point, the church ceased all construction plans. After more than 15 years, that property still stands vacant.

There are winning options for all parties involved.

William Bucasas

Salt Lake City, Utah

Early vote easy

Voter turnout has reached an all-time low — though the numbers were encouraging here on Kaua‘i.

To those too busy to get to the polls, an easy alternative is voting by mail. When I received my voter’s information, I simply applied to receive an absentee ballot at my mailing address. A couple of weeks prior to the election, my ballot arrived, I filled it in and mailed it back to the elections folks. No fuss, no bother and as convenient as can be. I can make my vote count and not stand in line to do it.

Ann Leighton


Let’s let lender writeoff short amount

My name is Suzanne Peters, and I am a voting resident of Wailua Homesteads on Kaua‘i.

Simply put, my request is that the residents of the United States of America and the Aloha State have some benefit of the $700 billion bailout proposed by the current president. I ask you to author and support legislation to be included in this bailout/rescue plan to help homeowners in the sale of their homes.

My home has been on the market for nearly six months. Why?

I am in a financial position where I must sell my home. It is fairly priced. However, it does not appeal to those circling with the cash to purchase the home. I am not complaining, and I do not feel victimized. I am asking for your help.

Here’s my request. Let’s say the loan amount is $650,000 and let’s say it sells for $450,000. That leaves me $200,000 short, plus real estate transaction and commission costs. Why not require the lender to writeoff the amount short?

I would like to see this money come out of executive compensation packages and other “golden perks.”

Additionally, the selling homeowner should not be liable the short amount, real estate and commission costs as federal and state taxable income. It’s difficult to give up your home at a big loss, and it’s an even bigger burden and smack in the face to pay income tax on the “short” and real estate transaction costs. Please consider this as part of the solution to save us from financial disaster. It seems that Washington is willing to say “Yes” to business chiding us because we are stupid and do not understand the cyclical effects. They seem to be gleefully saying “No” to us and happily throwing all of us, described as irresponsible spenders, under the bus. Throwing us under the bus will denigrate our economy even more.

Please help us. We need you more than ever.

Suzanne Peters



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