Letters for Sunday, November 4, 2018

Article on term limits for council members was misleading

Relating to terms limits for the office of council members:

I have served 10 years on the Charter Review Commissions and I believe I’ve learned the process well enough to express my disappointment in some of the comments published in an article in last Thursday’s edition of The Garden Island newspaper.

The article implies that one person can introduce a charter amendment and get it on the ballot. That is just not possible.

An amendment must be introduced, seconded and approved by a majority of the County Council to get on the ballot. It is unfair to single out one council member as “self-serving.”

Since 1972, the issue of term limits for council members has appeared on the ballot at least eight times. In 2006, the amendment was passed, and today we are experiencing the effects of that decision. A large majority of residents are having difficulty selecting seven recognizable candidates, perhaps because their choices can no longer run.

Is it time to reconsider that 2006 decision? Our votes, rather than the charter, should limit the number of terms served.

Let’s be clear: Voting yes allows your votes to limit terms, voting no allows the charter to limit terms.

Carol Suzawa, Lihue

Politicians need courage, creativity to clean up island

Here I am back visiting my daughter in Kapaa for the third time in as many years, only to find the Garden Island more polluted, over-crowded and congested, with traffic back-ups everywhere. And my daughter tells me that the politicians running in this year’s election agreed there are no solutions to the problems. How sad! No research, no imagination, no guts.

How about making it economically feasible to improve conditions? Instead of thousands of cars with one person each filling the roads, offer free bus transportation with regular running electric buses that run often and throughout the island? And/or Uber/Lyft fleets that pick up patrons with county-supplied credit cards? And certainly a start to reducing traffic is free bus service for all students, as most schools on the mainland offer.

Of course the question always is “but how can we (the county) pay for free bus service?” The answer, of course, is by taxing gasoline and increasing registration/licensing fees on autos and trucks. These vehicles are ruining our air, water and land, and the owners need to pay for their largesse.

I’ve been on the island only a little more than a week and already have seen dozens of junk vehicles abandoned on roadsides and in driveways.

It takes courage to be a good politician, one who stands for change and new ideas. I think that’s why Bernie Sanders had so much support in the 2016 primaries. He had ideas for social, educational and economic changes. We cannot continue on the path of unlimited freedom to pollute, carry arms and exploit the Earth and the poor. I hope voters in Kauai have the courage to support change that preserves this beautiful habitat so that it continues to be a Garden Island and not the junkyard possible if the current trends continue.

Margaret Kolbek, Kapaa

  1. I saw a Vampire once November 4, 2018 1:10 am Reply

    Voting yes means set term limts. Voting no means no term limits. Each fiscal term though they do a budget. State budget only allot certain candidates money. The rest who knows what they’re paying? No contribution. The community is billed. The budget that is set pays only those worthy players or candidates. Including their input on important matters. For anyone, even without pay.

  2. Wally Roberts November 4, 2018 4:12 am Reply

    Oh please, Ms. Kolbek. “We cannot continue on the path of unlimited freedom to pollute, carry arms and exploit the Earth and the poor.” That statement goes way beyond your complaints about Kauai. BTW, your showing up increased the problem of too many visitors to Kauai.

  3. kauaiboy November 4, 2018 6:50 am Reply

    Carol Suzawa writes “A large majority of residents are having difficulty selecting seven recognizable candidates, perhaps because their choices can no longer run.”

    Those residents are simply LAZY. There is plenty of information about the current candidates, their history and platforms. Get informed and VOTE.

    Simply “selecting seven recognizable candidates” is stupid and often racist. First, selecting only entrenched politicians perpetuates the problems facing Kauai, without allowing new faces and fresh ideas. Secondly, there are plenty of opportunities for those who have served their limit to continue to provide public service, if they so desire. Thirdly, why pick seven? Just pick the three or four that most resonate with your own ideas and don’t dilute their chances of winning.

  4. Uncleaina November 4, 2018 10:20 am Reply

    Love love it when mainlanders give us such helpful advice! It’s like inviting guests over and having them criticize your spinach dip. Maybe they think we’re not smart enough to fix these problems without their helpful insights. Actually buses don’t work here because 1) we don’t have large residential areas 2) we don’t have a central area where everyone works 3) we don’t have space for park and ride like on the mainland 4) many people work 2-3 jobs in vastly different parts of the island 5) many people don’t work traditional white collar 8-5 jobs 6) there’s only 2 lane roads so buses are stuck in traffic as well..I can go on but there 6 great reasons why things that work in San Francisco won’t work here. It’d kinda be like me coming to LA for a week and writing a letter on the perils of gentrification.

  5. Jake November 4, 2018 1:56 pm Reply

    “A large majority of residents are having difficulty selecting seven recognizable candidates, perhaps because their choices can no longer run.”…….Wait what???? So, vote for the incumbents, or we, as voters, are lost??

    30% of the population on this rock actually vote. There is a problem with quantity and quality in the candidates because this rock is so isolated that “born and raised” is actually considered a “qualification” for almost all local voters. Stop the madness!

  6. RG DeSoto November 4, 2018 2:50 pm Reply

    Right on, Margaret, Bernie Sanders…the man on a fools errand: socialist utopia. So Margaret, you think this socialist vision is so great? Next year, since you don’t like how crewed up Kauai is, visit Venezuela instead for some perspective on how socialism works.
    RG DeSoto

  7. andy November 6, 2018 9:57 pm Reply

    Ms. Kolbek, you make some good observations in your letter, and you can see already from some of the comments herein how bitterly the usual trolls resent ANY suggestions from ANYONE who hasn’t lived here for at least 5 or 6 generations. But there are actually a LOT of really good folks on this island, some born and raised here, others from elsewhere, who do really care about the future of this place and do more than just write nasty comments about well-meaning people like you who actually take the time to try and make helpful suggestions. Keep trying!

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