Monday, May 16, 2022 |
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•It could be better
•Enforce the law
•Mele Kalikimaka e Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou
•First adopt a strong mayor system
It could be better
The honorable judge Alfred Laureta persists by his Dec. 14 letter to the Forum in claiming he is looking for reasons for Kaua‘i to change to a council-manager system.
Advocates of this system have been presenting facts, data and oral arguments for four years to identify its benefits. People who have had experience with communities with the system have testified in support of the system.
Judge, you need to go back and review this data — minutes of past meetings and volumes of papers that Ken Taylor and others have given us. It is all documented and part of the record.
The data is there. But our Charter Review Commission has lazily chosen not to examine it. Instead they asked the County Attorney’s Office to make an evaluation. Apart from their obvious bias, it is the function of that office to opine on legal matters not policy matters.
One of the best reasons that can be found to make the case for a county manager system was in a Nov. 29 editorial in The Garden Island called “Let the people decide.” It states, “We expect our government to deliver a sound county manager proposal in a timely fashion. Then we’ll let the people decide.”
The key operative words here are, “our government to deliver…” and not that citizens must deliver as has been said so many times by commission members.
Along with your letters put into the record at the Dec. 14 CRC meeting, I testified in favor of the county manager system noting that in a recent survey 77 of the top 100 best governed communities had a manager system. After I spoke a citizen spoke at the meeting and said that he wanted to continue the existing mayoral system because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it and, paraphrasing the cliché “haole go home,” argued that advocates of the manager system should leave Kaua‘i and go to places having that system.
His contentions are misplaced. In the past we turned to radio for communications — now we have television. Our children used to be educated in a system using chalk and blackboards — now they have computers. Radios and chalk still work but there are better ways.
The mayor system may work but the manager system works better. Kaua‘i is still a great place to live even with an inferior form of government, but it would be a better place if we were to progress to a more efficient system. People should be given the choice to consider the alternatives and decide how they wish to be governed.
Glenn Mickens, Kapa‘a
Enforce the law
Astute reporter Levine’s latest comprehensive articles “Ethics Board charts course for clarity”; “Still-pending complaints…” and “Outgoing members…” (The Garden Island, Dec. 18), deserve as simple a response as the 21 plain legal words that have unnecessarily embattled Ethics Board colleagues, county attorneys, administrators and the public alike for nearly two years in that Charter Section 20.02(D) states, “No officer or employee of the county shall appear in behalf of private interest before any county board, commission or agency.”
Enforce the law.
Rolf Bieber, Kapa‘a
Mele Kalikimaka e Hau‘oli Makahiki Hou
I would like to thank everyone for their awesome decorations this season.
Also, the fantastic entrants for the 2009 Waimea Parade, it was the best effort ever. I think in times like these with the criticism around the U.S. that we somehow are to stop these visual signs of the season, are forgetting that it brings faith, love and hope to each of as we participate in these festivities.
I also thought the Festival of Lights and spectacular parade in Lihu‘e was an outward sign of our love of each other and the men and women who serve to protect our freedom as Americans.
We should be a proud majority and keep our liberties close to our hearts. God bless you and God bless America. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Sharon Ponte, Kekaha
First adopt a strong mayor system
I am not necessarily against the county manager form of government even though I came from a city (Albuquerque) which tried it and decided to return to the strong mayor model.
The key word is “strong.”
Kaua‘i has a weak mayor form of government because the mayor cannot appoint several of the department heads. Civil Service, Police, Fire, Water, Planning and Liquor are critical departments in county government and the mayor, at this time, cannot appoint the people to head those departments. If he cannot appoint them, how can he hold them responsible for the operation of their departments?
The proposal to put those departments under the direct authority of the mayor should be on the 2010 ballot. Then, if it passes, the people of Kaua‘i can decide at a later date if they prefer a county manager or a strong mayor form of government.
Linda Estes, Koloa
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