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Breaking News

Da Shadow: Malu Road needs guardrail for dropoff

Editor’s note: Old-timers might still remember the introduction from The Shadow radio program: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” Jerome Freitas, a retired state Department of Transportation worker who is now better known as Da Shadow, since 2004 has been meeting with government representatives about problems he has discovered or that have been reported to him, and reporting the county’s responses. After a hiatus to take care of personal matters, Da Shadow is happy to return to his column published every other Sunday.

Malu Road

Q: Are there any plans to post a guardrail along Malu Road? There is a large drop-off as you head up the hill.

A: Public Works is evaluating several options for Malu Road, which will be brought to the public for input.

Subdivisions

Q: Is it the county’s plan not to paint a centerline for all subdivision roadways?

A: For collector roads, the marking of centerlines will depend on traffic volume, roadway curvature, sight distance and presence of intersections. We do not plan to mark centerlines on local roads, except approaching intersections.

Court case

Q: What is the result of the court case KPD vs. the mayor regarding the authority of the mayor to discipline the police chief?

A: The Circuit Court ruled in 2012 that the mayor has the authority to discipline the chief. The Police Commission appealed this decision to the Intermediate Court of Appeals, which has not yet ruled on the matter.

Vehicle allowance

Q: What is the gas allowance awarded to County Councilmembers for their personal vehicles?

A: Councilmembers receive a $350/month auto allowance based on the Salary Resolution for the use of their personal vehicles for official county business in lieu of mileage or gas reimbursement.

Anini Beach Road

Q: At the end of the paved portion of the roadway, there are unpaved/gravel portion of the road. Is this a private roadway? If so, who owns it?

A: The unpaved portion of this road is owned by the state, and is currently listed as a “Road in Limbo.”

Bus budget

Q: How much federal funding did the transportation agency receive for The Kauai Bus operations in FY14?

A: The Federal Transit Administration approved a $1,040,000 grant through the state Department of Transportation to cover a portion of the Kauai Bus operating expenses for FY14. All FTA grant operating fund awards require a 50 percent local match, which is included within the Transportation Agency’s annual budget request.

Q: What is the annual budget for the Kauai Bus and how much is collected for ridership in that same period?

A: Annual Operating Budget (FY2015): $7,903,000

Estimated Public Bus Revenue (FY2015): $875,000

KPD spending

Q: Did KPD create a new beat with the $750,000 from the COPS grant? How was the money spent?

A: None of the awarded funds from the COPS grant has yet been spent. KPD is currently in the process of hiring six officers for the new beat from Wailua to Kapaa. Anticipated hiring is in October. In the meantime, the new Kapaa beat is staffed when there is available personnel.

Workplace woes

Q: Re: Workplace violence, when one employee reports harassment from another employee in the same department, what steps are taken?

A: The County of Kauai is committed to providing a working environment that is free of discrimination, as stated in HRS 368 & 378, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The county has no tolerance for acts of discrimination and harassment, as detailed in its policy. All employees, including supervisors and managers, are trained on this policy and are required to comply. While each case is unique, generally speaking, employees are trained to report such acts immediately to a supervisor. The supervisor would then initiate an investigation into the allegations and depending on the results of the investigation, appropriate action is taken as needed.

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Jerome Freitas can be reached at theshadow96751@gmail.com or 635-3528

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