Letters to the editor: 02-26-19

Four-year terms? Let Ruggles be the lesson

The current discussion regarding a transition from two-year terms to four-year terms has revolved around the issue of how long it takes to “learn” how to be a councilman/councilwoman.

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In private industry, where new hires and those newly promoted are expected to hit the ground running, people succeed due to veteran staff members. When a freshman councilperson engages, are all the people who have served as council staff ousted from serving again? I assume the answer is no, and previous aides are culled for their experiential background and compatibility with the new member.

So members do have a support system of sorts that can help to shorten the training wheel phase of their tenure. This coupled with the assessment that by their own admission that the council is their full-time job, there’s no reason to believe they require a two-year training period. This learning-curve theory is further negated by the fact that there are veteran members who can mentor the newbies.

Finally, if all else fails to defeat the four-year argument, let me mention one reason that should deter this change: Jen Ruggles. She refused to vote at council meetings thereby depriving her district of representation. I’ll not go into the inane details of her absence and the fact she opted to not run again in 2018. Without an opportunity to evaluate a councilperson’s performance every two years, during a four-year term the only vehicles for removal are recall or impeachment, both time consuming and very costly.

Still want four-year terms?

Pete Webber

Kona

Alii bypass should’ve been done decades ago

One reads in WHT Feb. 13 that there has been a bill introduced to ease traffic on Kuakini Highway (again?). This sort of thinking is always a step in the right direction but also seems to just be adding more Band-Aids to a worsening situation. Whatever happened to the plans to build the Alii bypass that began some 50 or was it 60 years ago? Was it simply left to wither on the vine thus causing this massive over-congestion on Kuakini Highway?

Our representative politicians seem oblivious that there even is or was a planned Alii bypass. Sure, if you have been around long enough you remember that everyone was hot for the bypass until some bones were discovered in its path. Then the screaming began while congestion on Kuakini Highway and Alii Drive (a beach road) grew and grew to present day conditions.

It is ludicrous to accept after 50-plus years, in this, a sane world, that those bones have not been gathered up and re-entombed elsewhere so that life can move forward (in the fast lane). But here we lay in the doldrums of yesterday. There are those who are up and at ‘em to protest other subjects while standing on the side of Kuakini. But to protest for the much-needed Alii bypass, nada. Guess we get what we deserve.

Hugo von Platen Luder

Holualoa

Expect outrage if lights get cameras

Ken Obenski’s column (WHT Feb. 23) concerning red light speed limit enforcement cameras is totally accurate! It’s just another money-grabbing scam so our already bloated government can grow even bigger.

The only thing Mr. Obenski failed to mention was that the citations would be issued to the registered vehicle’s owner and not necessarily to the driver. Probably half the cars on the island are rental vehicles. By the time the citations are issued to the car rental agency, the drivers of these cars will be back home anywhere on earth. So, who will pay those tickets?

A few years back when I was living in Alaska, Anchorage tried this same stunt. The outrage was overwhelming and their cash-grabbing scheme was killed quickly. The only one who made money was the company who installed the cameras!

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Tim Schutt

Ocean View