Letters for Wednesday, July 27, 2011

• No-brainer • HR department won’t end

harassment problems • Express



Pardon my analysis but letters and articles published recently in The Garden Island compel comment on the actions and non-actions of the Charter Review Commission.

Horace Stoessel’s (“Review what?” Letters, July 23) contention that the Charter Commission “has not even begun to perform its first task” and his observation that the Charter Commission serves as an arm of county administrators to “tweak” the charter to their liking is becoming increasingly obvious.

Glenn Mickens (“Legislative review of OIP powers needed,” Letters, July 25) asserts that confusing, ambiguous (and I would add deceptive) language was placed on the ballot by the Charter Commission despite vigorous public objection. The ballot issue on 3.07E duped voters into weakening the robustness of the county charter and broadened the justification for going into executive session.

Then we have Cost Control Commission Chair Sandi Sterker (“County considers HR department to curb sexual harassment,” The Garden Island, July 26) asking the Charter Commission to consider placing a proposed amendment to the County Charter on the ballot to establish a Human Resources department to prevent the large increase in sexual harassment in county workplaces.

Could a sexist founding document in some measure create an environment which fosters the ever increasing sexual harassment plaguing the county workplace? Ten years and two Charter Commissions ago a citizen (this one) requested a ballot measure to replace the sexist language in the County Charter and make the language gender neutral. 

Despite no opposition neither the past nor current Charter Commission has taken action. Rumor has it the current Charter Commission has the issue pending while the County Attorney’s Office reviews what is technically called a no-brainer. This is the same County Attorney’s office that told Cost Control Commission Chair Sterker that, “it would be OK to have an HR department.”

It is clear to me that the Charter Commission serves a dual function: 1) to serve as a proxy providing succor to administration and council’s desired modifications of the charter, and 2) to provide a firewall against citizen initiatives ever reaching the ballot regardless of merit.

Ed Coll, Puhi

HR department won’t end harassment problems

I strongly support a charter amendment which would establish a Human Resources department in county government. Such a move is long overdue.

However, I seriously question the reasoning of the chair of the Cost Control Commission. She stated: “One of the biggest things we want to prevent is sexual harassment. That is happening more and more. We felt that if there was a Human Resources department we would end up not having the problem.”

Sexual harassment flourishes because there is a climate which permits and, sometimes, encourages it; not because there is the lack of a Human Resources department. If it is true that sexual harassment “is happening more and more,” then the mayor should be embarrassed for his administration and do something immediately to put a stop to this behavior.

Thinking that having a Human Resources department would cause the problem to end and waiting to pass a charter amendment to create it is ridiculous. If there is a problem, it should be addressed by the county administration without delay.


Linda Estes, Koloa

Express yourself

One of my favorite sections in “The Garden Island” is Letters. It’s a place where the readers can “let off steam” and express their feelings about all sorts of issues. It produces opinions on all sorts of things and has some “regulars” who contribute every so often.

One of my favorite writers is James “Kimo” Rosen, who has opinions on many things. He is interesting, but not entirely predictable for he says it as it is to him and sometimes I agree and sometimes I don’t. Kimo “shoots from the hip” and often feels strong about his opinions. I like his sense of humor and the diversity of his opinions.

I miss the comments of Harry Boranian (write something more, Harry) but like myself, he too is growing old and we don’t seems to find the time we used to — and we don’t feel the need to express ourselves to the world like we used to. It’s discouraging to give advice and realize that most people don’t care about our pet causes.

There are many repeat writers — but I don’t get into politics that much and don’t always read everything thoroughly. I’d like to thank those who write in — whether I agree with them or not.

It is healthy to have a forum where we can express ourselves. I’d like to hear more of what’s good than complaints, but let people be who they are and share their knowledge, their constructive criticism and even their prejudices. At least they are being honest.

So readers, use this service to express your thoughts — and thanks for sharing.


The Rev. Malcolm Miner, Retired associate priest, St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Lihu‘e


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.