Legislature: Developers should pay for protection. So says Sens. Gil Riviere and Stanley Chang, Kurt Fevella, Les Ihara and Maile Shimabukuro of Oahu. If a gang or criminal organization did this it would be called extortion. We the people already pay for police, fire and emergency services through our taxes. While they are saying that this is primarily for the TMT and the wind farms due to the police costs related to those incidents it does not change the fact that this is literally an extortion scheme.
We already have an unfriendly business environment in Hawaii with permitting processes that are unnecessarily burdensome and very time consuming why add yet another reason for discouraging new business in Hawaii. This is beyond lunacy and even common sense says this is a crazy idea. Hopefully, someone with some common sense puts a stop to this before the state Legislature actually considers it.
Granted, the TMT police action was extraordinarily costly. Why? Because it dragged on for over six months. Why? Because no action was taken other than 30 arrests on the first day instead of arresting everyone than illegally blocked the access road until it was cleared. From that point on they only had to keep the road clear until construction of the TMT was underway. After that it should have only required a minimum number of law enforcement to keep the road clear.
The TMT would have to hire private security to keep their building site secure. However, keeping the public access road clear is what our tax dollars are meant to do, not extorting payment from a private consortium like the Mob used to do in areas that they controlled. Since when does our government act like mob bosses and extort protection money from its citizens? Hopefully, never unless we want to give up all of our freedom and live in a fascist regime.
Because the government response was bungled is no reason to foist off the costs on to the developers who we should be trying to entice to Hawaii rather than chase them away with yet more burdens on them. I’m for people having the right to protest. Having the right to freedom of expression. But no one has the right to purposely break or defy the laws without penalty. Instead of going after Developers to recoup the costs, go after those who broke the law. Go after their funds that were illegally donated to a non-profit to support an illegal action. Confiscate their property and cars to recoup the costs incurred by their illegal actions. Don’t make an already anti-business environment even worse.
John Pierce is a resident of Waikoloa