Letters for Monday, June 6, 2011

• Thanks, Hobey • Not a fan of

‘Jailhouse’ • Charter, ordinance and red


Thanks, Hobey

Hobey Goodale has been writing a series in The Garden Island newspaper titled “Plantation Days” as experienced as a youth growing up in Kaua‘i. In his most recent article he said, “My being the boss’s grandson, I had to prove myself up to the task (of digging fence post holes). Up until then no haole boy had ever had to do this kind of manual labor.”

I first met Hobey Goodale about 23 years ago when we were both at the ends of brooms, sweeping up a mess following some activity at the little old St. Michaels Episcopal church in Lihu‘e. We were the two eldest laborers (he the chairman of the Vestry and I the volunteer associate priest, recently retired after 26 years work in Alaska).

Nothing about Hobey let on that he was a community leader, the primary benefactor of our church — that he and his wife, Nancy Sloggett Goodale were both descendants of the original missionaries who first came to work on Kaua‘i. Apparently, starting manual work as a youth prepared him well for wielding a broom as a senior citizen.

This humble man was to be the lay leader behind the building of the present church of St. Michaels and All Angels, which has become a center for community activities such as the annual Jazz Festival each February in addition to church activities. More recently he has provided at St. Michaels “The Goodale Center for Ministry”on the church property. Hobey and his wife, Nancy (now deceased) created the Goodale trust fund which has been a significant contributor to many community causes.

If you do not know Hobey you might not recognize him as one of Kaua‘i’s serious benefactors (his surfer grandson, Dylan Goodale gets more publicity than he does). He might be in jeans and in his truck like any other old guy like myself — on his way to the dump with a load of greenwaste.

Don’t be fooled by appearances … and by the way … thanks, Hobey.

The Rev. Malcolm Miner, Associate priest, St. Michaels & All Angels Episcopal Church, Lihu‘e

Not a fan of ‘Jailhouse’

I don’t like the new name and sign for the restaurant at the Wailua Golf Course. I drive home from work and see it every day; each time I get a very uncomfortable feeling I can’t put my finger on. Is it poor taste to name a restaurant “Jailhouse Pub and Grill” across from the Kaua’i Correctional Facility? The sign is a guy in old fashion striped jail clothing behind bars and holding a big mug of beer. It seems demeaning. Maybe I’m just losing my sense of humor, but I don’t like it.

Donna Alalem, Kapa‘a

Charter, ordinance and red herring

On January 12, Councilmember Rapozo introduced a bill related to the executive salary process designed to bring Chapter 3 of the County Code into conformity with Charter Section 29.03 as amended in 2006.  The bill was four years late and implicitly affirmed the Council’s previous inaction.

At the bill’s first reading Councilmember Yukimura offered and the Council accepted without discussion an amendment related to pay raises based on performance evaluations.

The County Attorney later opined what was obvious from the beginning; i.e. that the amendment violated the charter by adding a second purpose to the bill.

Why, then, did the bill appear on the agenda for more than three months before being passed on second reading without the Yukimura amendment, during which time talk about performance evaluations dominated the discussion?

My experience of participating in the process is that the amendment served as a red herring that diverted attention from the fact that the bill was meant to correct an earlier mistake and could open the way for recognizing and correcting other mistakes made by the Salary Commission and the Council.

While the red herring served its purpose temporarily, questions about the integrity of the executive salary process will not disappear permanently apart from a willingness to acknowledge and correct past mistakes.

A case in point is the salary resolution currently in effect, which mandates that previously deferred salary increases for the mayor and other positions in the executive branch take effect July 1, 2011.

The Salary Commission made two mistakes in the resolution. First, it purported to authorize the mayor and council in effect to freeze salaries, thus nullifying its own resolution and violating the charter in the process. Second, it made no provision for freezing the mayor’s salary.

Rather than asking the Salary Commission to correct its mistakes by adopting a new resolution, the mayor and council have acted as if the current resolution is lawful by excluding the salary increases for executive positions from the budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. They have gone a step further than the resolution by arbitrarily excluding the mayor’s salary increase as well.

Horace Stoessel, Kapa’a


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