Aloha fellow citizens: Let’s make Kauai great again. Here is my proposal: We have some of the most talented men and women in the world living on our Island who write letters to The Garden Island. There is little follow up from the mayor and county council on most of these letters.
I suggest a panel with representatives from The Garden Island and four of our best letter writers like Glenn Mickens, Walter Lewis, John Gordon and Ken Taylor meet and pick 10 men and women who write the best letters to meet with the mayor, a representative of the county council, and a representative of The Garden Island. Each letter writer can bring a letter to be read at our meeting. The Garden Island should pledge to print these letters and the mayor and county council should pledge to study them and take them up at their meetings.
These meetings could take place over coffee at one of our great island restaurants. Maybe this system could save the county $200,000 per year and work in place of a county manager. I personally know financial advisers and experts from various Mainland cities on government management who are retired and living in Kauai. The group that is picked can easily solve all of Kauai’s problems.
Here are some examples of letters that can be discussed. One letter should suggest that we could build a wall around Coco Palms as it has been such an eyesore for over 20 years. We could get the developers to pay for the wall or start demolition in 30 days, or the county will take all necessary steps to take the property and make it into a park.
Another letter can address the homeless. Every time I drive through Anahola I see four rundown houses. We should get our mayor and council to talk to the owners.
Here again, they can build a wall at their expense around these houses, tear them down, or the county can initiate steps to take them and convert them to homes for the homeless or low income families.
Another letter can address turning our trash into energy. This could be an alternative to a new landfill which we will need in a few years.
A letter could suggest the mayor hand out the director of park’s paycheck in a different restroom of our park system each month. While he does that, he can inspect the conditions in the restrooms our visitors must put up with every day.
Perhaps a letter about where we should go if another hurricane hits Kauai like Hurricane Iniki. Maybe the large hotels should provide space for our residents in case of an emergency. Maybe this will take a county council ordinance.
I sent a letter to The Garden Island about our homeless veterans some time ago. My suggestion was to place them on one of our mothballed ships that sit idle in Pearl Harbor.
They have facilities and kitchens and could be put to good use. I have heard from no one about this.
Our letters could suggest remedies to our traffic problems such as making our roads toll roads through Kappa on the way to the South Shore and vice versa. This could pay for needed road repairs. I suggest a letter pertaining to all the billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg who are buying up land on our island. Have the mayor and county council met with him to see what he can do for our island. He is a large philanthropist and we could certainly put his money to good use.
Lastly, letters pertaining to too many cows on land not suitable on the South Shore, and letters about growing crops that are sprayed with harmful pesticides. Our solutions should bear weight.
In other words, a few wise guys and gals can volunteer their time and expertise to make Kauai great again. Our mayor and elected officials should pledge to follow up on our best letters and pass ordinances where needed.
Richard L. Turner is a retired attorney with over 50 years of practice from St. Louis. He lives in Princeville.