Letter for Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Public meeting needs voices of the people

Public meeting needs voices of the people

A great factual story TGI did in Our View July 7, “Ask and you shall receive and answer — maybe.”

Ironically, I and other members from the public recently attended a state-held hearing supposedly on Kauai traffic problems. Had The Garden Island interviewed me about my opinion of the meeting, it would have echoed exactly what was printed.

The graphs and numbers that were shown (some so small that even binoculars could not read them!) meant very little to those attending and were basically a waste of time.

As TGI pointed out, these meetings are held without any verbal comment between the public and those holding the meeting — the good old-fashioned way where everyone gets to hear the questions and listens to the answers if they are forthcoming.

At this meeting, as with all recent meetings I have attended, you are given a card to ask your question on and maybe, just maybe, your question will be read.

Hitting the nail on the head, TGI wrote, “We all know the real reason why the written-question format replaced the verbal question: Difficult questions can be ignored and placed at the bottom of the stack” so as not to be read at all. “Heck, presenters if they so choose could even write and ask their own questions just to be sure they have the answers.”

In a verbal format, everyone can hear the question and at least it cannot be hidden and ignored in a pile of cards.

Another ploy used in these meetings is to take up most of the allotted time for issues not interesting to the public and then have the public question time cut way short and end the meeting. Just submit your questions and you will get your answers later — sure you will?

The major issue that the people from the Eastside wanted answers to was the horrendous traffic problem through the Kapaa-Wailua corridor. But we left the meeting not knowing any more than we did before about what is going to be done and when to alleviate this problem. Obviously, others from the north and south sides of Kauai wanted answers to the same question but nothing but double talk came through.

Our state reps were all at this meeting and one must wonder why they are so afraid to have a verbal dialogue with their constituents who elected them. At least they should have had the courage to hear our voices and give us answers.

Ken Taylor, Kapaa

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