Letters for Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Praise for mayor •

Praise for police chief • More path

math

Praise for mayor

Again, the people of Kaua‘i should take great satisfaction in the actions of our mayor, Bernard Carvalho.

Under the present and most difficult of circumstances, his leadership and forthrightness to the community is exceptional.

We are so fortunate to have such an administration as dedicated to the rights, reputations and dignity of all its county employees as it is with the rest of the community.

Michael L. Smith, Kapa‘a

Praise for police chief

On Oct. 1, 2007, Police Chief Darryl Perry would be sworn in to take command of the Kaua‘i Police Department — a police department bereft with serious internal issues from a divided force, moral and ethical shortfalls, and a PD that had lost the confidence and trust of the public.

Chief Perry recognized a need for this police force and the community to heal, to strengthen this police department, and that citizens gain the trust and confidence of the KPD. From this day forward, the KPD was transforming.

KPD matured through challenges, this police force strengthening over the passing five years under committed leadership. As time passed, the upper ranks of this police department, too, matured, becoming a solid backbone to the KPD. Officers promoted became a great strength of this PD as these leaders commanded units and guided officers — characteristics essential to any impermeable police department.

Police Chief Darryl Perry seemed acutely aware that the “Top Brass” of our island police department must bear strength — that these senior officers must be given the breadth to lead alongside their chief of police. Through great efforts and commitment, our KPD was strengthening — the top command being officers who are ethical, capable of endurance and above reproach.

On Feb. 2,  the KPD’s “Top Brass” would be disabled in a sweeping, unilateral motion by Mayor Bernard Carvalho — this mayor placing on leave Police Chief Darryl Perry and his two assistant chiefs.

I call on Mayor Carvalho and members of the County of the Kaua‘i Police Commission to honor county charters and laws, and return to duty our police department commander, Police Chief Darryl Perry, in order that the Kaua‘i Police Department may be restored.

Deborah A. Morel, Kapa’a

More path math

The Garden Island reports that the county has spent $30.18 million so far on the 6.8-mile completed portion of the Eastside multi-use path and that it took almost 10 years to complete this portion.

It can be seriously questioned whether either the amount stated or the time is accurate, but assuming it is, the $30.18 million spent divided by the 6.8 miles so far has cost us, the taxpayers, $4.4 million per mile.

And for clarification, even though the Feds are putting up 80 percent of that money, it is still our money, paid for by you and me. Proponents of this multi-million dollar project would have you believe that these Fed funds are “free money,” but make no mistake about it — federal, state or local — it all comes out of our pockets.

Our 20 percent share was $6 million, even though we used about $5.4 million of sweat equity to pay for it — again, not “free” money.

Now we enter into fantasy land.  The article reports that the expense for the 17 remaining miles of the 23.8 mile project will be $23.1 million or a cost per mile of $1.35 million, less than one-third of the cost for the completed portion.

If 6.8 finished miles cost $30.2 million, how can 17 more unfinished miles “only” cost us $23.1 million? And, none of this cost includes maintenance, landscaping or security patrolling for those using it day or night.

The use of the 23.8-mile length is interesting. In  past articles, various sources  have projected the length of the path is anywhere from 18 to 25 miles. But on the off chance that the 23.8-mile length is correct, if it were multiplied by the $4.4 million per mile for the completed segment, the estimated total cost would $104.7 million. That is clearly a vast difference from the $53.28 million cost the new handout from Public Works Department would have us believe.

It should be noted that the course of the path is not yet fixed, and condemnation or land purchase costs are not readily ascertainable. Also, of course, the cost estimates do not include maintenance, landscaping or security services.

And this isn’t the end of the numbers thrown at us by Public Works. The Department of Transportation (DOT) and their Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) put out a spreadsheet on April 27, 2010, showing that the unfinished section of this path would cost $60,420,000 — not the $23.1 million given above.

In fact, on July 13, 2010, the DOT put out a revised spreadsheet showing that $57 million of the $60 million was put on hold or eliminated. The other $3 million was for design and not construction.

Many problems are still arising just getting this path from Lydgate Park to Kapa‘a and will continue to surface as the remainder of the 17 miles is being pushed forward.

We the people who are paying for it need to know actual costs and let them know if we are getting a real bang for the millions being spent — that means for all taxpayers and not just those on the Eastside who predominantly use it.

Glenn Mickens

Kapa‘a

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