Stories should raise alarms for taxpayers
Three articles in Thursday’s The Garden Island raise concerns for me. I write as a resident of Kauai, a voter, a taxpayer to governments of Kauai County and the state of Hawaii.
“Council members debate use of surplus GET funds for housing.” So, first we are told that we will all have to pay an additional half percent on the GET, which is taxed on everything we purchase and on services we use. Now we are told that — oh wait! — maybe we don’t really need all that money. Maybe we will have a surplus — oh wait! — maybe there won’t be a surplus. And, when we get all that extra money from our constituents, many of whom work two or thre jobs simply to cover their living expenses, we’ll figure out how to spend it, totally ignoring the fact that the justification for it was for road improvement.
Kawakami says, “the burden of affordable housing is on everyone.” I say the burden of working within the county budget and doing the jobs for which they were elected, by those of us who pay their salaries, is on each of the County Council members and the administration. We’re fortunate that JoAnn Yukimura spoke up, that everything she said makes perfect sense for the people of Kauai. The only good thing I see about Kawakami’s proposal is that it was withdrawn.
“Vandalism prompts new rules.” Some county facilities will be closed to the public from 4:30 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. The article states: “Kauai police will enforce the rules.” Again, I write as a taxpayer whose money goes toward salaries of the director of Parks and Recreation and Kauai Police. I prefer the efforts are put toward the enforcement of keeping the vandals out rather than keeping the general, law-abiding citizens out. Further, I have yet to figure out what the Parks and Recreation Department actually DOES. As everyone knows, our parks — especially the bathrooms — are in deplorable condition. Here is a chance for them to step up and actually get the vandalism stopped rather than just doing nothing and saying (figuratively) the heck with the public, we’ll just close.
“Hawaii launches campaign to prevent spread of rat lungworm.” This is, indeed, a horrible, terrifying public health and lifestyle catastrophe that must, at any cost, be eradicated. So, the state of Hawaii is going to spend $300,000 on television and radio announcements urging people to wash fruits and vegetables. Keith Kawaoka says, “Knowledge is the best defense we can provide people with …” What? Really? Seriously? This is the best our public officials can offer? The solution is really very simple: take that $300,000, plus whatever additional funds are necessary, and get rid of the rats!
Judith Rachap, Koloa