Monday, May 16, 2022 |
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• A skunk at a garden party
• Decisive action needed now
A skunk at a garden party
Mayor Bernard Carvalho, please understand were I’m coming from. You got rid of Rolf Bieber, one of two Board of Ethics members that was doing his job to uphold the County Charter.
To my knowledge, you have not raised any issue of concern with the poor judgment and advice of Al Castillo, Mauna Kea Trask and John Isobe. May I remind you that last year when you took the oath of office you swore to uphold the U.S Constitution, the state Constitution and the Charter of Kaua‘i; Rolf did the same. Getting rid of Rolf may make you feel you have solved the problem, but the public knows better.
As the chief executive of Kaua‘i you must coordinate and direct the work of the staff, you must also, like it or not, play a much larger role. You are the central authority in operating the institution and therefore must have the central responsibility for doing so.
If emergencies arise, you must deal with them; if members of the staff fail to do what they should, you must remedy the deficiency; if somebody needs to speak out publicly, that task belongs to you, and if conflicts arise, you must resolve them. This you did not do, before you made up your mind to get rid of Rolf.
You and the staff and the people you appoint to boards and commissions must never forget that you are all here as trustees to defend the public interest.
As for conflicts of interest, an actual conflict of interest occurs when opposing loyalties must be confronted. A self-interested decision occurs when a board member chooses a course of action because it represents personal advantage to himself or herself or to somebody with whom he or she has personal ties rather than the institution or to society.
The best way an officer or board member can protect himself is to do what’s right. Attend all meetings. Get reports in advance of meetings and take the time to study them. Don’t be intimidated by the info or be slow to question what’s presented. Get a lawyer’s opinion on things you’re not sure about. Openly question everything that bothers you and register your dissent — in writing — to policies you disapprove of.
Rolf did most all of these thing and for it was made to feel like a skunk at a garden party.
Ken Taylor, Kapa‘a
Decisive action needed now
Randy Hee’s Dec. 18 letter to the editor was great and I concur with what he wrote but here is where I see a problem with KIUC.
1. The power company is too slow to act finding major alternatives to non-oil-fired power sources. In a four-week time span, The Garden Island wrote articles released by KIUC that biofuel to power was well on its way with an 8 megawatt plant with signed contracts and all was ready to go. A week later, KIUC said not so, we don’t have enough land secured to allow for all the trees to be planted for fuel. A couple of weeks later, KIUC announced that a new plant was going to be added to the Hanama‘ulu plant and that it will be fossil fuel fired (oil). I call this disorganized release of information to the cooperative share holders. Who is in charge of what?
2. Why is the cooperative not pursuing windmills that produce power around the clock not just when the sun shines. Why don’t we flood a valley and build a dam that would feed this island for years to come? Photovoltaic is great but no good at night because you still have to be hooked up to the grid no matter what and that means we need all the extra power plant infrastructure anyway. Some people who had an in with the power company got in on the 3 percent buy-back photovoltaic systems and are bragging that they don’t have electrical bills. The rest missed the boat, most cannot afford the systems to be completely off the grid.
I hear all the excuses, like bird strikes, no wind, land owners won’t agree to windmills, etc. KIUC just does not want to step on its friends’ toes meaning the big land owners (big boys or good old boys). KIUC may be waiting for a haole on a white horse from the Mainland to come in and fight their way through Kaua‘i Planning Commission and the land owners to build a wind farm or a dam.
That’s not going to happen. You need to go to work now instead of passing the buck by building another oil-fired plant in Hanama’ulu.
3. By building or even planning an oil-fired plant at this time, KIUC is demonstrating that it has no faith in biomass and photovoltaic; only of these produce power in the dark. So let’s show the members what you can do. As far as I see KIUC is in lala land and gutless to do something soon. How are you intending to sell all these environmental groups on an oil-fired plant and on top of it oil prices are going up that’s for sure. Windmills will give us jobs and a dam would be even more jobs. You don’t even have to fight about the salmon runs. If you don’t want to consider some of these alternatives I have mentioned then let it go.
The people will pay through the nose and I will pay the bill and fuel surcharge and eat at home and reduce other spending. Every time we add more photovoltaic systems like the Hyatt, the $6 million system that PMRF is installing and many other big hitters are lowing their bills. KIUC cash flow lessens and they in turn raise their power rates and all the little people pay the higher rates for those able to pay to go off grid. What is fair about that? Nothing.
Tell me that I am wrong! Why isn’t KIUC pushing for every house on Kaua‘i to have a mandatory solar water heater on the roof? That would really get the bill down for the consumer and conserve oil.
Hans Hellriegel, Kapa‘a
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