My Turn: Time for Kim to step aside

Mayor Kim must resign.

The lawlessness up on Maunakea is astounding. Our mayor, the boss of the police, refuses to enforce the laws. I can’t imagine that law enforcement would allow dissident lawbreakers to take over our streets.

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We normal people can’t even drive on the streets we’ve paid for. In the meantime, the mayor dithers.

He doesn’t listen to other proposals either. A couple years ago, there was a proposal to end our water access problems but he didn’t bother to analyze its worth to the Big Island.

We all remember the restrictions to fresh water caused by multiple pump failures? The proposal which he and his Department of Water ignored was to simply collect Hilo-side rain in a series of reservoirs, then build a canal north around Maunakea all the way to Naalehu, using gravity (not expensive pumps) to distribute the water to our communities.

Seems like a simple, and in the long term, efficient, way to access water for drinking, crops and golf courses. If we had such a freshwater system, we wouldn’t be held hostage to the inept management provided by the current mayor and his cronies.

The canal would begin at a reservoir built on the slopes of Maunakea then proceed north past Waimea, sharing its bountiful rainwater with that farming community. Then the canal would continue toward Kona where it would share its water with us citizens and with golf courses (which now spend hundreds of thousands of dollars pumping water from the ground wells).

Imagine the savings for each Hawaii County business when they can share the water which came from the island’s east side where they get five times the rain than the west side (130 inches vs 30 inches). If any electrical power is needed, it can be solar. This is just one plan which is ignored by our mayor. I personally presented this to Kim’s office.

How long have the landfills been having problems? Do we have a solution for this problem? No. The Hilo landfill is closing and we are trucking that garbage to the west side. No solution from our mayor.

The recycling debacle. What another bureaucratic mess this mayor has allowed. I used to push my green waste onto the appropriate grounds where employees would take it and recycle it into mulch.

Our illustrious county leaders ruined that system. It now takes me 30 minutes to unload my trailer, two handfuls at a time, into the big truck below. Great scheme, huh!

The other mess our government leaders are creating is allowing only a two-bin system of our garbage. We can’t even dispose of our old newspapers any longer. Why not take a lesson from other states where they issue three different bins to every house, each with its different label and color?

One bin is for glass, one is for papers, one is for plastics. These bins get picked up once a week from driveways. As a result of that program, they have clean garbage, which can be recycled into other or similar purposes. Their papers can be sent to a paper-producing company where they can be converted into new, recycled paper. And our glass and plastic can be recycled similarly.

What does our mayor do about this?

It has now become an unwieldy mess where no one benefits and our garbage just continues to be a huge mess. No solution from our government.

The mayor must resign because he is not pro-business. Due to the hostilities he helped allow on Maunakea, the Space Port business was looking at Hilo to set up a job-creating business there but saw the chaos. They then decided to move on. That seems to be the fate of the telescopes on the mountain, too.

Businesses such as these see so many roadblocks to their multi-million-dollar enterprises (which would provide great-paying jobs for our community) find the hassle just isn’t worth it. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to risk my own millions into such an environment until I had reasonable expectations that my company could do well.

Note that there is no dairy here, nor egg farms, no sugar cane, no ferry which could connect our islands by automobile. All due to poor county leadership.

These same protesters/lawbreakers are even at work to destroy the business of wind energy from our islands. So we continue to burn fossil fuels for electricity. What a waste!

A couple months ago, the county wanted to spend $25 million on the tourism industry to attract tourists. My suggestion in this newspaper was to simply clean up our beaches, their bathrooms and their roads, thereby making it a pleasant experience for the tourists.

This would encourage them to want to come back and tell their friends about the pride we have in our island. I made this point to our County Council representative. No response came from anyone in the government, but I did get considerable encouragement from friends.

It seems like people don’t care about this island’s largest business: beaches and the serenity that goes along with them. Luckily we still have fine hotels who keep up a few of them for the tourists to enjoy.

This shows that our businesses care very much for the care and pristine appearance of our beaches. Too bad the county doesn’t do the same. Maybe someone should encourage our county representatives to step down so we can put the hotel staff in charge of Hawaii County tourism.

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It’s time to get rid of Mayor Kim and replace him with someone who cares and is willing to apply his/her office to improving our lovely island.

Barry Willis is a resident of Kailua-Kona.