• Mayor was right • Don’t be discouraged • Speak for yourself • Veto a mistake
Mayor was right
I suggest that all of us on Kauai should read Deputy County Attorney Mauna Kea Trask’s opinion on Bill 2491 when trying to determine the basis for Mayor Carvalho’s decision to veto the bill. Mr. Trask’s opinion makes a lot of sense.
It should be the state that manages agriculture on a statewide basis. Or, alternatively, have the state officially pass the authority to the county.
I am perplexed that if our council was given a legal opinion like the one shared by the mayor, how could they vote the way they did?
I thought they were sworn to uphold the laws of the state of Hawaii? I believe they even voted not to release the legal opinion to the public before they voted on it. Auwe! Not Pono, especially for those members who preach open government for most everything else they disagree on.
So predictable. But now we know why they voted not to release the opinion. I believe the mayor did the right thing based on the law, which he not only took an oath to uphold, but is actually upholding it. I agree with the mayor that there should be disclosure and prudent buffer zones. It needs to be done in an appropriate and legal manner under the right jurisdiction.
The easiest thing would be for the mayor not to sign the bill and let it slide. But he wouldn’t be upholding the law if he did. Council punted the ULU, not the mayor.
Don’t be discouraged
Although I cannot speak for Mayor Carvalho, his decision to veto Bill 2491 demonstrates the saying that actions speak louder than words. I understand that being in leadership is not an easy task. I do not envy it. However, when a choice is made to run for leadership and you are chosen, you must muster up the courage to look beyond politics and into the heart of the matter. The truth. Our council members did it, and with their support the mayor could have made a decision that would have given us all a right to know, which in return helps give us a right to be healthy. Is that not too much to ask?
Although the veto is a great disappointment, it should not be a discouragement. Momentum for the bill is strong and running. It is constantly gaining acknowledgment and support. The mayor is one person. The people of Kauai are many.
Speak for yourself
“Bill 2491 is the people’s bill,” is a cry often seen here on the Garden Island. It always makes me think, who is this person who thinks they can speak for me and the vast majority of people I know here on Kauai?
The audacity of someone who can only demonstrate the support of a couple thousand activists and scared, misinformed mothers is astonishing in its egotism. Who are you to speak for me? No one speaks for the majority of those who live on this island, especially when you look into the audience at the public hearings and see a sea of pink faces, faces that have no roots here and yet think they know better than me and have a right to come here and tell me what to do. These are the same folks who’ve come here and cry about the lack of affordable housing when their arrival is the primary reason there is so little affordable housing. The hypocrisy is astounding.
Veto a mistake
I am writing this in support of Bill 2491, and am disappointed and appalled by the mayor’s decision to veto the bill. My question to the mayor is: Why are you vetoing this bill out of fear of being challenged in court? Why not be challenged?
You have been elected to represent the people of your island, the people of Kauai. The people are telling you they want the bill to pass, the County Council passed the bill 6-1, doing their job and representing the people of our island. Why are you not willing to do this?
We believed in you as a leader, but you are proving us wrong, Mr. Mayor. A leader listens to the people when they tell him, especially backed by concrete evidence, that they are being poisoned along with the land. Our aina gives us life, and in return it is our kuleana to care for it, steward it. When illness occurs, disease, it is a clear sign that balance is off. Why can you not see or hear this?
Why are we having to beg you and the multinational chemical corporations for disclosure? If nothing is wrong with these practices, if all is pono, then why are we all here right now divided over this bill? If there is nothing to hide then compliance with the bill should not be an issue. You say you want transparency, Mr. Mayor, so do the supporters of Bill 2491. The ones fighting this transparency are the chemical companies. What does that tell you?
After reviewing the county attorney’s assessment of the bill and from what I understand to be your fears and reason for veto, I gather that you both believe this amount of regulation is beyond the county’s jurisdiction. To me that does not make sense. In my opinion, you and the county should serve your people. We live on a small island. What happens here directly affects us first and foremost. Why do we need to wait for and depend upon higher, yet further removed, government that has no direct connection to our isolated island? If your answer is because that is the current law, then I believe it is time to make a change.
My hope is that you can see the monumental place you are in as our mayor and you can lead by a true representation of what your people want. The council has demonstrated this, and council, I deeply thank you for listening and leading. I hope that you stay true to your vote and beliefs in the importance of Bill 2491 for the preservation of Kauai and the health of its people.
Council, I am asking you to please override the veto on Bill 2491!
Nancy Davidson Cohen