Letters for Sept. 25, 2016
• Finest place on Earth could be governed better • Mahalo to Kollar for behind-the-scenes help
Finest place on Earth could be governed better
Walter Lewis has written many fine “A Better Kauai” editorials over the years, but in the opinions of those who regularly attend council and committee meetings and many others, his Forum column of Sept. 16, “Council has lost touch with the citizens it represents,” was the best.
He so truthfully brings up how our council fails to prioritize the issues that are paramount to the betterment of our island like solid waste, our traffic woes, property tax reform, wastefulness or worse in the public works department, a county manager system and a moratorium on new development until infrastructure needs are met. Or foolishly putting bike lanes along our roads that narrows them, which only exacerbates our traffic problems.
At a recent committee meeting, the council spent over two hours debating whether an existing law prohibiting the use of alcoholic beverages on the Wailua Golf Course should be changed to allow it. With all the urgent problems facing Kauai that Mr. Lewis has listed, why are we wasting so much time on an issue that affects so few of our population? And this agenda item was deferred, meaning that even more time will be used when it comes up again.
Over and over we hear our elected officials tell its citizens how badly they need their involvement with issues to make good decisions. And yet, year after year, citizens’ testimonies (some with excellent solutions to problems past and present) fall on non-responsive ears — not even listening to those speaking and having the courtesy to give a response.
One can only conclude that decisions have already been made and that public hearings and meetings are held due to the sunshine law (Office of Information Practices) rules and not for any action presented to them by the public.
Our antiquated election system is basically a popularity contest with little known about the candidates’ purposes and intended actions if elected. Will the candidates (incumbent or new) really go after and pursue the hard issues — like the “GasGate” scandal, the illegal vacation rentals proliferating all over Kauai, the wrong-doings uncovered by our fine late auditor, Ernie Pasion?
For over 10 years, a group of us including Mr. Lewis have worked hard to give the citizens of Kauai a new style of government that will address so many of these problems that are attributable to the incompetence of our past and present leadership. But those people running our island and those citizens whose indifference at vote time allow these problems to continue will leave Kauai on a downward spiral.
This is the finest place on Earth to live but we can make it even better.
Ken Taylor, Kapaa
Mahalo to Kollar for behind-the-scenes help
I wanted to publicly thank and acknowledge our Kauai County Prosecuting Attorney Justin Kollar, for going out of his way forthe people of Kauai.
I don’t want to bore you with the details, but last week a complicated, important legal issue emerged with the potential toimpact nearly 200 patients on Kauai and I immediately went to Mr. Kollar for assistance. He personally contacted the HawaiiAttorney General on behalf of our Kauai ohana and pushed for a resolution which came this week.
The issue was only tangentially related to his role but he saw the injustice and sought to protect the vulnerable. I am verygrateful, and due to Prosecuting Attorney Kollar’s efforts to correct this problem promptly, most of those who could havebeen impacted will never even know.
Working in the background, and helping those who don’t have a voice, are examples of the many reasons why Mr. Kollarshould remain our prosecuting attorney. Please join me in supporting his re-election.
Graham Chelius, MD, Waimea