Letters for Sunday, May 13, 2012

• Pick up after yourselves • Just what is their job? • Just say no to higher taxes • Stop the Insanity

Pick up after yourselves

We are fourth-graders from Koloa School. We collected more than 3,200 nails, burnt wood and rocks lying on the sand at Salt Pond. This is a public beach where everyone can go. Someone started a bonfire in the sand where people run and jog and where children play. The rocks could’ve caused someone to trip and fall into the nails or step on the nails, some of which were rusty.

We ask the people of Kaua‘i to pick up after yourselves and don’t burn wood with nails. Perhaps we should have laws to prevent this kind of irresponsible behavior that could injure both sea animals and people.

Jaron Ruiz-Acantilado, Matthew O’Rourke, Kai Bernard, Raymond Hughes, Xavier Texeira, Koloa

Just what is their job?

On the matter of the roles and responsibilities of the County Attorney’sOffice:

A) With the County of Kaua‘i consisting of both the executive and legislative branches, when each is in conflict with the other, as often happens at various levels of government, how can objectivity prevail in the County Attorney’s Office?

B) Does a law firm frequently represent both the prosecution and the defendant simultaneously as a normal course of action in the real world?  Would that be allowable?

These concerns are the crux of the matter.  Can someone explain to me how the County Attorney’s Office is expected to deal with opposing perspectives under these circumstances?  How can the attorneys maintain clarity, transparency, and accountability to resolve in favor of one over the other when the office represents both sides?  Wouldn’t this lead to a “conflict of interest” situation, which often results in hiring special counsel?  Isn’t this why a resolution was introduced? To untangle this mixed bag of “how-to-do-what-fairly-and-objectively?”

Jose Bulatao Jr., Kekaha

Just say no to higher taxes

To the County Council: Just say no to the mayor’s revised budget and proposed tax increases.

 It seems the mayor has lost touch with reality and does not realize we don’t all work for the government and enjoy steady incomes no matter what. Apparently he knows different people on this island than I do. The ones I know are struggling to make mortgage payments, struggling to find employment, and struggling just to make ends meet. Many are in foreclosure on their homes already. This is not the time to raise everyone’s property taxes. But it is time to stop all this spending that the government is doing. We just cannot afford to support their spending habits any longer. The government needs to tighten its belt, just like we have to do to keep our heads above water. The average guy has to earn more money in order to spend more money. The mayor, in contrast, only has to raise taxes in order to spend more money.

 On May 8, the mayor discovered he had a shortfall of $6.67 million dollars in the budget he originally submitted in March. So he gave the Kaua‘i County Council a limited amount of time to decide whether or not to raise taxes to pay for this shortfall. It sounds like a sneaky way to increase taxes at the last minute when there is not enough time for the council to discuss it in depth.

 Constantly increasing the taxes on hotels will, in turn, cause them to raise their room rates which, in turn, will be passed on to the consumer. Before you know it, tourists will decide that it’s too expensive to stay here and will decide to go elsewhere, or they will stay home.

 When is the government going to realize it cannot keep increasing taxes, especially in a bad economy, without completely bankrupting its citizenry? Just say no to increased taxes! And while you’re at it, cut back on the wasteful spending!

 

Kris Van Dahm, Kapa‘a

Stop the Insanity

Insanity is when we continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. Isn’t that what we’ve been doing by re-electing the Congress that 90 percent of Americans disapprove of? We have re-elected 94 percent of Congress for the last 50 years.

We are in debt up to our ears and we have no budget or plan to pay it off. We spend billions on controversial bailouts and the earmarks rule despite promises of change. The economy is tanked.

The solution is as simple as voting against the incumbent. We can send a message to every politician that we will not accept this. We can refuse to re-elect the people who have failed us. There are excellent challengers on the ballot in almost every district and really … it would be impossible to pick representatives who could deliver worse results.

People are streaming in to the goooh.com website to engage in this process. The time is now. Own your future.

 

Cecilia Rice, Texas City, Texas

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