Letters for Wednesday, June 15, 2011

• Time to ‘restructure’ • Wait just a

second • Nice work on Wailua; what about

Waimea?

Time to ‘restructure’

Thoroughly enjoyed and agreed with Lowell Kalapa’s “Put emphasis on restructuring government” in Sunday’s paper (June 5, 2011).

Governments’, as well as individuals’, spending habits have gotten out of control. Responsible governance has fallen to an all-time low in favor of using one’s office for personal enrichment. (There are exceptions of course.)

As far as this writer is concerned, change is not only welcomed but well overdue. So, how do we change spending habits? Where is the plan to accomplish this huge task? How about starting at the top with the following example:

I think we can all agree that Big Government is the biggest spender. To see if it works let’s not bite off more than we can chew: Let’s start small, “baby steps” you know, and begin right here at home with our own local island government.

Reduce:

1. Mayor’s salary from $114,490 to $40,000 yearly

2. County Council members from $53,066 to $30,000 yearly

3. Eliminate the Admin. Asst. position & save $110.197 yearly

4. Reduce Dept. Heads pay from $107,335 to $60,000 yearly

5. Dept. Deputy from $98,748 to $50,000 yearly

With just the first two items, the mayor and council members, the residents would save $235,952 per year. With this savings it would enable the county to hire an “experienced” county manager to responsibly oversee the county’s management and financial operations.

The new county manager could then hire an admin. asst. at a lower cost than our present structured salary allowed for such an admin. asst.

According to the Internet, salaries for county, community or city managers run from about $85,000 to $200,000 a year while an assistant’s salary fall in a range well below the actual manager’s salary.

Another advantage could be that in lowering the unknown number of dept. heads and dept. deputy heads salaries residents might be able to afford an additional council seat or two affording a council member from each district with a new law requiring one council member from each district on Kaua‘i. The mayor’s position and duties would be included within the body of the council.

As for the average employee of the county, the workers that deal with the public every day and attend to the yeoman duties making the departments work, their salaries would remain at present pay levels and receive pay increases according to character and conduct deserving reward, in other words merit. Just a thought folks. Would it be worth considering and maybe even trying?

One last comment: Please do not respond by saying we will not get individuals qualified to do the job. We’re not getting them now at the above mentioned present high salaries! There will be plenty of folks willing to serve their community and not become career politicans.

John Hoff, Lawa‘i

Wait just a second

Please allow me to correct the erroneous assertion of Lynn Leonard (“Open letter to KIUC,” Letters, June 7) that I am the spouse of a KIUC Board member. 

Peter Yukimura is my cousin, and while we both support KIUC’s efforts to develop appropriate hydroelectric systems on Kaua‘i (a critical piece of the puzzle in getting Kaua‘i off of oil) each of us arrived at our own conclusion independently, after careful study and thinking. 

Furthermore, those who know me know that I would not blindly follow anyone, even my beloved husband, who, by the way, is John Wehrheim.

JoAnn Yukimura, Lihu‘e

Nice work on Wailua; what about Waimea?

It’s now been a week since the dedication of the widening of the Wailua bridge project. It’s nice knowing that the Eastside now has some kind of traffic relief. They now can use the old haul cane bridge for walkers, joggers and bicyclists to walk/run/ride safely in that area.

Now let’s start thinking about widening the Waimea bridge to keep walkers, joggers and bicyclists safe while entering and leaving Waimea. So they too can do the same safely.

In a recent front-page story in The Garden Island there was mentioned about Waimea future plans for improvements and upgrades of the town. There will also be signs placed along the way for a walking tour.

Where are these visitors who take the walking tour going to park while on their tour? Hopefully they don’t use up the parking along various stores or eateries (especially along Kaumuali‘i Highway through Waimea Town).

Before we even think of improvement through Waimea, we should look into all safety passages into and out of Waimea Town, such as widening the entrance (bridge) into Waimea Town and finding a safe location for a parking lot for visitors who go on the walking tour through Waimea Town.

Let’s stop an accident waiting to happen at the Waimea bridge entry into town and let’s not congest traffic through Waimea Town.

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

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