Letters for Monday, March 22, 2010

• Common sense persuasiveness • A soft under belly

Common sense persuasiveness

Mr. Glenn Mickens’ letter of Feb. 26 (Experience vs. popularity) says that I asked “rhetorically if Kaua‘i is lacking in competent, well-trained chief executives for our government,” which is an erroneous quote from my carefully worded statement which said: “Is Kaua‘i lacking in competent chief executives even without ICMA training? I say no. By education and experience, Kaua‘i is blessed with many willing to serve as mayor.”

There is a big difference between a “competent, ‘well-trained’ chief executive” and a competent chief executive qualified by education and experience, especially when, according to Mr. Mickens, “A qualified manager (chief executive) will have a collegiate education in municipal government affairs and several years of experience in that field. And a mayor?”

In all the many years that we have been a county (and a state and a nation) with chief executives in the guise of mayor, governor, and president, when has our government ever required, preliminarily, a chief executive to possess the type of collegiate education and experience Mr. Mickens says they “will have?”

The fact is that a mayor, a governor, a president, immediately upon election assembles a team by appointment of people possessing the necessary qualifications to advise, assist and perform the functions of government. If a specific collegiate education or equivalent experience is needed to carry out a specific function, create the position within the structure and framework of the existing system of government.

The overall competency of the chief executive is measured, to a large extent, by the competency of the team he selects to assist in his term of governance.

Mr. Mickens next questions my criticism of Ms. Bain and Mr. Lewis for their rhetorical (exaggerated) use of the phrases “the will of the people” and “broad citizen support” to augment their views. He implies that they were entitled to use those phrases because “they were at the many prior Charter Review Commission meetings — all televised, where the public almost unanimously testified in support of the council-manager system and where you were never involved.”

True. I was not there. (He says “almost unanimously,” which indicates that there were some who were not in agreement … how many?) But … I was at the public meeting held at the convention hall sponsored by the CRM where a trio of experts spoke on the subject of local governments and which The Garden Island  (Nov. 23) headlined in its news report as “Expert panel downplays need for county manager.”  The headline more than adequately describes the tenor of the panel discussion.

I, modestly, will take credit for submitting a question to the panel of experts as to whether “the county’s problems can be solved through elections rather than changes to the Charter”… (to which) …“the three panelists all answered in the affirmative.”… as I have been contending throughout our dialogue.

I suppose I could have used the phrase “according to a trio of experts” as support for my views because it is factual unlike the use of “the will of the people” and “broad citizen support” which are imagined, exaggerated and unsupported by factual evidence. I have chosen not to do so because logic and good common sense are more persuasive in any pro and con discussion.


Alfred Laureta, Lihu‘e

A soft under belly

In 2005, my daughter and I made a decision to make part of our family two elderly horses. It was understood that, because of the horses age and health, we would be seeing the two horses — Makani and Lulu — to the end of their days.

One person who became a welcomed familiar face, in the life of these two delicate horses, would be Kimo Rosen; Kimo lived on the property where our new family horses were pastured. Kimo would always have a kind word for my daughter and me, often offered fruit, and a helping hand.

More than once, Kimo went out of his way to thank us for caring for Makani and Lulu. The relief was apparent in Kimo’s words and on his face; he had been worried about the welfare of Makani and Lulu. In less than one year’s time, we would lose Lulu.

Makani and Lulu had been paddock pals for over ten years. Makani was having great difficulty in his loss of Lulu. However, Makani would find comfort in the company of Kimo.

Each early morning, in my arriving to the pasture to feed Makani, I knew where to find this old soul. Makani would be reliably found visiting his friend, Kimo, whose company clearly consoled Makani. As I would come over the hill, the “bella vista” for me was that of Kimo and Makani quietly situated by the moving creek, side by side, like two old friends of many decades.

Kimo was always kind to Makani, showed attention to Makani’s frame of mind, and each morning shared fruit with our horse, while Kimo had his own breakfast. I found comfort in knowing that Kimo was near to Makani, and keeping a concerned eye Makani’s way.

I know this person’s soft under belly, and feel blessed for it. Thank you, Kimo, for your many kind words, and helping to look after our Makani, and in his own last days.

Deborah Morel, Kapa‘a


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