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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

"Modus operandi must be changed..." 'Glenn Mickens' (Kauai county watchdog)

Glenn Mickens has lived on Kauai  with his wife Ruth for the last 26 years. Born July 26, 1930 in Wilmar, California, USA) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. He pitched in four games (two of which were starts) for the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers. He also played for five years in Japan, from 1959 until 1963 for the Kintetsu Buffaloes. There, he compiled a record of 45–53 with a 2.54 ERA.  Glenn also  served in the Army for 2 years and coached baseball at UCLA for 25 years. 
Last but not least Glenn would really like to see Kaua'i give the county manager style of Government a chance.
Above photo of Glenn Mickens courtesy of Kauai Garden island news, used with permission...



Modus operandi must be changed

Mr. Mickens is locally known
as one of Kauai county's
political watchdogs
and Nitpickers...
Mahalos Glenn!
                 

Kaua'i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. is proposing a $218 million budget ($204M operating and $14M CIP) next year which, as TGI reported would be the highest in a decade. the lowest budget was recorded on 2010-11 at $147 M so in 7 years we have seen about a $7M a year increase in our taxes. And, what major improvements have the citizens seen for these increases---none, absolutely none.
Kauai Mayor Carvalho
prepares a 218 million
dollar budget


Our roads (300 miles of them) are in horrendous shape. the County is taking in about $17 million a year from gas, vehicle registration, vehicle weight and utility taxes that is supposed to go for our roads repaving and maintenance.

And yet, we are spending about $1.2 M a year of that money for our roads--about 7%. And rather than finding out where the bulk of that $17M is going, the Administration suggests that we have the right to add a 1/2% excise to find more money--MORE TAXES!!

One major road in the homesteads, Olohena Road, about 5 miles long and used by thousands of people daily is in horrendous shape. I believe that it isn't on the list of paving until 2018 but for the shape it is in it will be practically undriveable by then! Parts of it have not been repaved for over 20 years and the tax payers who live on that road certainly deserve better than that. 

And, for political reasons we have repaved roads that do not need it and repave a road (Kealia) costing us $280 thousand for a private development by Spaldiing Monument that never happened. Why are we not using Charter sec 3.17 to find out what is happening?
Mel Rapozo
Kauai County Council Chair


As Chair Rapozo has said, before overburdening our citizens with more and more taxes, let's find the waste in our system and correct it before burying our tax payers more and more.

And, in his budget for 17-18 the Mayor does not even mention the biggest problem on Kauai--TRAFFIC! We spend huge bucks on consultants and planners to tell those in power what they want to hear---add bike lanes, more buses, sidewalks, and shuttles to cure our traffic problems---a solution that is a huge myth. 

One major fact that the above so called traffic cures are a myth is that the mass (not a small minority) of the people including all council members will never abandon their vehicles. For work, for necessity, for shopping or simply for convenience THEY WILL USE THAT VEHICLE.  The pilot program that was done with 1500 county employees getting free bus rides to take vehicles off the roads was a complete failure--only 50 people or 3% used this "gift". Just as the shuttle on the North Shore was a failure---people will not abandon their vehicles. 


And, who is mandating that bike lanes be put along all our roads? When was any pilot project ever done to actually see what usage these bike lanes will have to lessen traffic? Isn't that what pilot projects are for?  One can drive for a month parallel to the bike lanes and never see a biker on them or if one is there it is for recreation and not transportation. Also these bike lanes are counter productive to traffic flow since they narrow our driving lanes--ask Ray McCormick.

A careful look at the bike lanes by the Kukui Grove shopping area will show a disaster waiting to happen. There is a 3' stripped lane next to the curb (have no idea what it is for) and then a stripped off, 6' bike lane with vehicles being able to cross it on off ramps--I have seen vehicles even driving on them.




We must have leadership that stops ready, fire aiming. Leadership that looks into the future growth of Kauai and plans for it. Our General Plan updates have been a joke as problems continue to  worsen by the day. We desperately need alternate routes like Sen Billy Fernandez once suggested 50 years ago but was ignored. We need added lanes to our roads which the contra flow proves will work. And yes that is the state but we seriously need to coordinate all we do with roads and highways and stop pointing the finger at each other. 

And finally, we need a moratorium on any further major projects until the infrastructure is first put in place to handle the added impact. 


P.S.
Check out Glenn's Wikipedia page;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Mickens

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Kapa'a Sunrise from Kimo Rosen's Lanai
i-Phone photo by James "Kimo Rosen

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