It was great to see Councilmember Kuali‘i vote against salary raises for those already making over $100,000 a year (TGI, April 25). But it is disappointing to not see the vote being 7 to 0 against it, though I believe that Councilmembers Kagawa and Brun will also be against it.
Councilman Kuali‘i wisely said, “Over 50 percent of the people in Hawaii that cannot get by — right — that they are struggling and we are not paying attention to them.” They have to work two jobs or more just to survive while making the minimum wage per hour.
He also makes the point that these raises come on the backs of the poorest on Kauai. A half percent excise tax was just passed, which is regressive and, again, hurts those in the lower-pay range than those at the top.
A tax that is supposed to help pave our roads that are in horrendous shape but an audit needs to be done and shown to the taxpayers so we can find out exactly where all our tax dollars are going — excise, weight, gas, vehicle and registration fees.
Are the people getting these raises really doing the jobs they are paid to do? Show us something positive that has been done to alleviate traffic, get low-income housing, repave our roads, solid waste issue (no home trash pickup for recycling nor a MRF so badly needed) and solve the homeless people problem.
In sports today, athletes are making millions of dollars to perform, but the key word here is “perform” — if they do not do the job they were paid to do they take a cut in salary, or are released. So why are we asked to give raises to some of those who obviously are not producing?
Our past administration had 10 years to alleviate or solve at least some of these problems, but the problems have only gotten worse. Why haven’t we even started to pave our cane haul roads to give people alternate means of getting to their destinations and help keep traffic from backing up for miles?
And I have said this before and will say it again. People who drive a vehicle are going to keep driving that vehicle and will not stop using it for a bus, bike or walking, as those in power keep saying is a solution — anyone who reads this letter (except those who have no vehicle or cannot drive), ask yourselves if you will ever get rid of your car or truck and wait at a bus stop, bike or walk to your destination.
Only making this island more vehicle-friendly will solve the problem. Ninety percent of the people or more including visitors will go where they want when they want to go, and that is in their own or borrowed vehicle.
Not just our past administration is delinquent of not taking action to solve these problems. All other administrations are just a guilty, except they did not have 10 years to take action.
Please, Mr. Mayor, you made promises at election time to take action to solve these problems — show us taxpayers that you meant what you said.
Glenn Mickens is a resident of Kapaa.