Mayor, it’s time for action on Coco Palms
Dear Mayor Kawakami,
I, like many of your other constituents, was encouraged to read in TGI that you (as well as your predecessor) have expressed doubts about the present Coco Palms redevelopment effort. So, please take action now to get a more realistic development plan for the property that will be implemented expeditiously.
Here are some suggestions based on ideas that many Kauai citizens have already put forth as well as my belief that Kauai County government likely doesn’t have the financial resources to tackle the undertaking by itself. There are two parts: first what should be done with the property and second how to pay for the first part.
First part: tear down most all of the existing structures and develop the property as a tropical park that features a first-class Kauai Hawaiian cultural center. It should be a place that is inviting to everyone but especially to Kauai residents. Include a botanical garden, an area for picnics and barbecues as well as open space for fun and games. The cultural center should be the focal point of the park and should be both educational as well as entertaining.
Part two will require some creative approaches. First, I believe that your leadership combined with Gov. Ige’s leadership can secure the money for acquisition and sustainment without negatively impacting either the county’s budget or the state’s budget. The key is to structure the project to be mostly funded by private donors, especially wealthy Hawaiian residents.
Perhaps Piere Omidyar, who has expressed a desire to do something good for Kauai, would be willing to donate to a “Omidyar Hawaiian Cultural Center.” Another potential donor for a large financial contribution would be Mark Zuckerberg. Central to raising the money would be the establishment of a tax-exempt Coco Palms Park and Cultural Foundation that might provide tax deductions for donors.
Now is the time to act with creative boldness, Mayor Kawakami. The citizens of Kauai have been patient too long, and want timely action on the Coco Palms property.
Peter Nilsen, Princeville