Letters for Saturday, July 29, 2017

• Councilman wrong about public workers • Thanks for a good deed

Councilman wrong about public workers

It must be pointed out that councilmember Ross Kagawa’s sweeping statement in a July 27, 2017, front page article in The Garden Island newspaper that “The public feels like they are struggling and government workers are getting paid well” is just wrong.

Many, if not most, dedicated public workers on Kauai and across the state are also struggling, just like the rest of the community, to maintain a good standard of living in the face of high costs in Hawaii.

The average full-time public sector worker represented by HGEA (Hawaii Government Employees Association) makes $43,000 per year and we still have more than 2,000 members who make less than $15 an hour. Some full-time government workers are paid below poverty level wages and actually qualify for public assistance.

It’s easy to begrudge the nameless, faceless “government worker” a small raise, but at the same time, we as a community continue to expect fast, efficient, and reliable government services.

Don’t forget, those public workers are contributing members of our communities — our friends and family members who are paying taxes, raising families and using their salaries to buy goods and services here at home — which makes our economy run.

The truth is, most public workers make a lot less than members of the council do, they work full time and don’t benefit from perks like a cell phone and car allowance.

We hope that all members of our County Council keep this in mind as they choose to make public comment about collective bargaining for government employees.

Randy Perreira, HGEA Executive Director

Thanks for a good deed

What a reassurance to know that we are not alone in this world. Every good deed deserves accolades and that we respond andtreat others as we want others to treat us.

We take for granted the duties of the fire department associates — but a lot of times we forget to thank them for the littledeeds they do, which do not fall under their duties.

On June 14, as I waited for my transportation to attend our weekly get-together of retirees — time was flying by so fast Iwondered if I was forgotten. I called, but no reply.

Suddenly, a fire truck stopped on our street and my phone rang. I was advised transportation wouldn’t be arriving due to anaccident.

So, to the Lihue fire department and chief, thanks so much as little deeds, such as this, are usually thrown aside with a thankyou.

Gladys Hashimoto, Lihue

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