Letters to the editor: 02-12-19

Verdict, appeal, baffling

I was appalled when I read that we, the taxpayers who have already spent $50,000 to defend former officer Buddemeyer, must now double that amount with another $50,000 to appeal his conviction.

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My god, he killed a man. Granted not on purpose but then he also changed evidence and lied. To only get a year probation seemed trite. And now to fight that? Absurd. And our County Council voted unanimously to pay for it!

If he had not been a police officer at the time I seriously doubt he would have been let off so easily. And would he have had an outside attorney brought in at taxpayers expense to defend him? I doubt that, too.

Thank you, WHT, for your Our View editorial that stated this travesty so politely with compassion for both the deceased man’s family and for Buddemeyer while still pointing out the callousness of this appeal.

Cindy Whitehawk

South Kona

Jump on or get passed by

My friend Jim Higgins wrote a letter to the editor expressing concerns about the views of newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (WHT, Feb. 10). She was overwhelmingly elected in her district, winning over a moderate, and thus fairly represents a certain point of view.

Although we progressives mostly don’t agree with her, her point of view can be heard and considered in the mix, particularly that of the younger generations. Where are Jim and the Republicans when right wing extremists like the racist Rep. King speak up and the Freedom Caucus goes anti-modern America? And where are they on Trump?

The USA for generations has had its own form of American quasi-socialism: Social Security, Medicare, farm subsidies, tax policies and a myriad of domestic aid programs. The baby boomers like Jim and me and our somewhat naive or outdated points of view are becoming junior to the new generations’ search for what works.

Our generation needs to smell the roses and get on board.

Mark Van Pernis

Kailua-Kona

Join Trump and help country prosper

JoAnne Martinez said Republicans stole black Africans from their tribes and brought them to the new land to slavery, however, slavery was started before a Republican Party was started. Slavery was ended by Abe Lincoln, a Republican.

It’s sad that the Democrats refuse to work with the Republicans. Trump has improved the standard of living for everyone. Join the team and help Trump run the country.

Jim Koubelg

Kailua-Kona

Contract work better solution

The proposed major increase in sewer charges is questionable in its size and application.

First, as many have argued, why should only users of the county sewer system have to bear costs of off-grid cesspool removal? Any hikes needed for maintenance and upkeep should be separate from expenses to eliminate cesspools. Compliance with cesspool rules should be shared by all county taxpayers via a new municipal bond (Hawaii County has a good rating and interest rates are low) or by an equitable, specific property tax rate or other adjustment.

Second, the request for 10 more employees represents a major increase in the wastewater division staffing. Will they be used for cesspool work which should be borne by other financing as previously stated? Was a comparative cost-analysis done to determine if or where contractors can do work more efficiently? The long-term costs of adding more government employees is steep since the expenses include health, pension and other benefits on top of salaries, which are fixed and long lasting.

Contract work is a one-off cost. Further, there appears to be little supervision of some county field workers. I, and others, have observed them idling in vehicles, talking on cellphones, stopping at Honolii to watch the surfers, taking naps behind the Carvalho Park gym, etc. Contract workers wouldn’t stay employed very long acting like this.

I hope the county will make a more detailed evaluation of each new position request, projected budgets and alternative financing before levying such huge, unfair increases on sewer users alone.

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Neal Herbert

Hilo