Letters for June 15, 2016
Appreciate gifts of pen, camera
Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to TGI’s Dennis Fujimoto, and published here with the author’s permission.
Please allow us to share our gratitude once again for your wonderful coverage of St. John’s 75th anniversary celebration. As has been true of your reporting in the past, we know that one reason for the excellent turnout on May 1 was due to your story about our church earlier in the week. Both of the articles in The Garden Island were beautifully presented and photographed, with such kind nods to our special visitors and our kupuna. You captured the joy, energy, and spirit of the occasion perfectly, and your ability to recreate the moment is a profound talent which is a gift to all your readers.
It was delightful to see Fr. Ed Howell featured in the Monday, May 30, story about Habitat’s house dedication and blessing. Thank you for that, as well!
We so appreciate you and your gifts of storytelling through both pen and camera, but most of all we appreciate your gift of a loving spirit. May the Lord bless you always, as you have blessed our church!
Column on county-manager proposal didn’t get it right
Under the benign caption “Public influencing council action on county manager proposal” which is descriptive of how legislative matters are processed in a democracy, Mr. Allan Parachini authored an inaccurate and contentious Forum article (TGI, June 5).
Let us recount some of his indiscretions.
1. Apparently Mr. Parachini has not read the proposed resolution because he claims the office of mayor is abolished. In some council–manager (CM) systems that is done but the Kauai proposal not only retains the office but provides that the elected mayor will become the Council chair.
2. He says the the manager would report “politically“ to the council. That is an unwarranted description of a business like relationship.
3. He asserts there has been a “stampede” to create the CM system. Hardly. The matter has been under examination since last summer.
4. The article notes that proposal was drafted “with the council unaware that the concept is likely illegal.” Nonsense. A questionable county attorney opinion in 2009 was to that effect, but the state attorney general opined otherwise.
5. He argues without a shred of proof that a small group of citizens he calls “squeaky wheels” “have been largely responsible for pushing the council…” on the CM system. Certainly the council has heard from citizens who advocate the system, but so also has it heard from those opposing it.
6. He says the council chair stated that the public wanted the CM system. That is exactly what a poll by The Garden Island showed.
7. He contends without any rational basis that three citizens exercise undue influence over the council. Our council members are perfectly capable of thinking for themselves.
8. Unconvincingly, Mr. Parachini seems to see a “sort of filibuster”by the CM system advocates. Evidently he is unaware of the strict council rules limiting public testimony.
9. He then turns to the civil service issue. State law provides that all county employees are subject to civil service requirements unless exempted. The law exempts county officers and department heads. It does not list a manager as exempt because there has never been such an office in Hawaii. Perhaps it might be that technically a manager would not be exempt because the office is unnamed. But for the county attorney to say that this result was intended lacks credibility.
The reality is that the Parachini article was derogatorily written and is as unbecoming as it is unjustified.