Letters to the Editor: April 11, 2021

Don’t bench our MVP

I am very concerned about what Mayor Mitch Roth is trying to do to Mark Van Pernis (MVP). It seems Roth is acting like former President Donald Trump and wants to surrounds himself with yes-men and wants to push his pro-development agenda and selection of commissioners that reflect Yes-Men (an example is nominee Dana Asis to the Leeward Planning Commission; she is a Realtor and is on the Chamber of Commerce).

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I believe that we need more MVPs sitting on community/development committees. Not more Realtors and Chamber of Commerce types. MVP wears many hats and comes to meetings well-prepared and has a community/historical/kanaka/environmental take on things. He’s a straight shooter and is a diligent community member who is looking out for our west-side communities. Roth’s claim that our MVP is disrespectful and has heard complaints from bureaucrats. Our MVP does ask some hard questions to bureaucrats and developers. In an article published April 1 in West Hawaii Today, our MVP states “It’s true I ask a lot of questions, but that’s my job … If questions are asked and responded to with words of avoiding an answer, more questions may follow.” Mr. mayor, are these the people who are complaining about the way they are treated by our MVP?

Is Roth trying to permanently bench our MVP? I believe our MVP is needed to continue to be a spokesperson/defender of our community. Is this Roth’s strategy to get rid of community-minded commissioners and install his pro-development cronies? I sure hope our County Council will stand up to Trump err Roth … because our MVP has a track record of making Kona a better place (KVDC, a board member of Hawaii Health Systems Corp., he was also a member of the West Hawaii Bar Association Courthouse site selection committee). Is Kern and Ross mad/afraid of our MVP because he calls out Kern/Roth for suggesting changing the consistency of planning committees?

I really liked the way Kona Councilman Holeka Inaba described our MVP “In my attendance of the commission meetings, I have seen Commissioner Van Pernis bring a balance and a unique perspective to the group (WHT 4/1/21)” and in the same article WHT states: “He’s shown himself on the planning commission as someone who has done his homework.”

I believe that former Mayor Harry Kim tried to do the right thing and tried to weigh the communities benefits against economic benefits and that is why he selected our MVP to serve as a commissioner. I hope Roth doesn’t permanently bench our MVP. Please contact your councilperson and tell them to keep our MVP on the commission.

Tlaloc Tokuda

Kailua-Kona

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