Letters for Saturday, April 28, 2012

• Don’t rubber-stamp the mayor’s budget • I applaud council’s anti-bullying resolution • ‘Kaua‘i’s most embarrassing sight’

Don’t rubber-stamp the mayor’s budget

Here we go again. Apparently our mayor has forgotten we are in a down economy.

While our politicians and police get pay raises, our citizens struggle with few jobs available and rising prices for almost everything.

Many Kaua‘i folks work two jobs just to get by, much less pay their taxes. So, a few Kaua‘i folks (government employees) live from the toil of many thousands (Kaua‘i workers and property owners). It seems to have become “them versus us” as the county’s desire for more, more, more of our taxpayers hard earned dollars is never ending.

Not too many years ago the entire Kaua‘i budget was less than 100 million. Anybody noticed any actual increase in services or efficiency in the ensuing years? Not me. Oh, I forgot, we built a multi-million dollar concrete path along the beach, an item which is very nice, something we all can use and enjoy but, in my view, comes under the heading of a non-essential.

It is something we might want but definitely do not need. Anyone remembers an old fashion concept called frugality? To quote my dear departed father, “you can judge a man’s (or county’s) wealth by the number of things he (we) can do without.”

When the government workers went out on strike some years ago only “essential” workers were at their posts. The non-essentials walked the picket line. I wondered at the time why they were hired in the first place if they were not essential? Silly me.

We have only our elected representatives (Kaua‘i County Council) to speak for the thousands of non-government workers and property owners who pay the bills for the relatively few who administer services. It is a sacred duty to represent the people who voted you into office and I urge our council to cease “rubber stamping” the mayor’s budget. Please go through it with a fine toothed comb, hold the mayor’s feet to the fire and eliminate all non-essential items in order to avoid the property tax increases the administration is calling for. You are the only voice we, non-government folks, have.

As both Daniel Webster and Thurgood Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy”. With more tax liability, I and other fixed income retirees are about to be destroyed.

While the council is reviewing the proposed budget, and in order to know where we really are at financially, how about at the same time discovering how much unfunded pension and health care liabilities exist for county workers and retirees.

The message the council should send to the administration is the same as Mick Jagger’s, who said it most succinctly: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need.”

Michael Wells, Moloa‘a

I applaud council’s anti-bullying resolution

“Damn if you do, and damn if you don’t!” That’s the impression I got with the first two electronic responses via the Internet version of The Garden Island in reaction to the article focusing on the Kaua‘i County Council’s unanimous approval of a Resolution to curtail bullying.

For whatever it’s worth, I applaud the council’s decision for the following reasons:

1 — It raises public consciousness about a subject that hardly gets any attention at all. Being razzed, hassled, threatened, teased, and/or tormented mercilessly is no cake walk in the park. How sad it is to have so many suicides nationwide because bullying is tolerated as a “rite of passage.” Suicides will continue to occur if we accept bullying as a norm.

2 — The resolution identifies the problem and encourages inter-action and involvement to bring collaborative efforts in addressing the problem. What’s wrong with that? There are those of you who will mock “Pollyanna platitudes” of wishful thinking in this Resolution. There are those of you who will smirk in disdain that resolutions such as these are a waste of time.

Then, there are those of us who will “climb every mountain and ford every stream … to reach the impossible dream”

And because there are those and there are those, let us agree to disagree, but I’ll tell you something: Come and join us! It may make all the difference in the world if just one suicide is averted because the bullying stopped.

Jose Bulatao Jr., Kekaha

‘Kaua‘i’s most embarrassing sight’

In regards to The Garden Island letter to the editor, “Keep Kaua‘i pristine,” from Jules Cannon, I hear you. Some people have no pride and think that the landfill extends to the whole island. Shame on them.

Jules, you said that you took some photos of the abandoned go-kart in Polihale. Send the pictures to TGI picture album. I’m sure that TGI will post it for you. Title it to the effect of “Kaua‘i’s most embarrassing sight.”

As for me, it was a site unseen. However I’m embarrassed too!

Howard Tolbe, ‘Ele‘ele

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