Letters for May 20, 2016

• Now is the time for change

Now is the time for change

Having read Mr. Mickens article (TGI Forum, May 17) regarding a county manager style of government, I agree with him 100 percent.

For 30 years I was an integral part of this system at a city in Orange County, California and it worked very well. The responsibility of our manager was to do the job assigned to him by the council and mayor. If he didn’t do his job, he could be fired unlike the mayor/council system we have on Kauai where the mayor sits for four or eight years no matter what kind of a job he does.

I was born and raised on Kauai, as were my parents. I love this island and feel that I have the advantage of seeing both systems in operation.

With a manager style of government a “real” person is there to take the blame or credit for a task that is given him/her.

If any of the many problems that Mr. Mickens points out on Kauai are not addressed, there is no one person held responsible — just back and forth finger pointing between the council and the administration.

Under a manager style of government, the mayor sits on the council and along with the other six members they decide what problem they want addressed, give it to the manager and the finger pointing stops — the buck stops at the manager’s desk.

A county manager system will undoubtedly provide noticeable improvements in accountability transparency, and continuity, which in turn will result in great improvements in efficiency. Those are four major characteristics that are absolutely necessary for any government to be successful and to provide the proper representation of the taxpayers.

Any elected official that cannot understand that does not have the right to represent anyone.

Adapting to a county manager system will be a big change for the people of Kauai. “Change” is always difficult in a relatively small community, especially one where many residents are still hung up on a “plantation mentality.” But now is the time for that change.

Please do not denounce this change if you do not know or understand it. Be your own person. Be wise and ask questions of those that know about the system.

I strongly recommend that we put this measure on the ballot and let the people decide if they want it. If we really want to solve the multitude of problems that face Kauai then what other choice is available?

Larry Arruda

Kapaa

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