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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. 

Check out Glenn's Wikipedia page;

Editor's note, Dakinetalk guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the opinions of dakinetalk. Guest bloggers are given space to express their beliefs and or opinions. We feel there are many roads and like to give people space to express their thoughts,after-all that's what dakine is...
Aloha, James "Kimo" Rosen---Blogger-n-chief, dakinetalk blog---

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

Hana Hou, (Encore) 


KimoRosen said...

The problem on Kauai is people see the waste, they know the waste but are afraid to be rats and testify or report the waste they see. People talk, nothing is confidential Many on Kauai could report so much waste and ways to save money but the first things my elected officials do is go report to the person we reported about being the slacker, nothing is sacred on a small island where everyone knows things about you before you do. Things will never change. You won't change things, they look at you as an outsider and think you should leave your haole ways on the mainland. In the mean time lets enjoy what time we have left on one off the most beautiful places on planet earth! ;-)

Roger "Micah" Dean said...

Spot on, Glenn. I salute your insight and tenacity.

Glenn Mickens-by email said...

Thank you, Roger "Micah" Dean. Thanks to Kimo I find out that someone is reading my comments and agreeing.


Glenn Mickens-by email said...

Mahalo Kimo:

You come through with my articles like clock work and I really appreciate it. If only I could get anyone on the council or in the administration to respond to anything I write or say (negative or positive) I would be very happy. If I am off base or wrong then at least someone should have the courtesy to correct me or tell me why I am wrong or if I am on target then it would be nice (like the comment you sent with my article) to hear that I am right and someone is going to do something about it.

Oh well I can keep dreaming, can't I?????
Your pal,


Glenn Mickens-by email said...

No, I meant that I am a liberal (a Democrat a left leaning voter) unlike the idiot that is now our President. He even seems to have a lot of conservatives hating him and it is a farce to see his "mouth piece" double talk each day trying to defend his lies while being interviewed by the press--I actually feel sorry for Spicer.

But there is enough smoke in the White House to mean that a fire is around the corner and when the flames start, Trumps house of cards are going to burn.
Just my thoughts.

Your pal,

Glenn Mickens-by email said...

Yes, Kimo old pal, I agree with you 100% about both things you say. People here know where the waste is and know who is creating it BUT for fear of reprisal they will never open their mouths. They need their jobs and would do nothing to endanger them by blowing the whistle on someone. The Mayor was guilty as sin for fraudulently using that other gas card for his personal use but with all the evidence against him those in power would not indite him---even Janine Raposo who was indicted is still at her $100 thousand dollar a year job.

And I know I am not going to change things (haven't done so in 20 years of writing letters and testifying before the council) but as in all I have done in life I feel that I at least can live with myself for trying and not succeeding than if I had not tried at all. If I had listened to everyone who told me in my teen days of playing baseball that I was too small and did not throw hard enough I would have quit. But I believed in myself and got to the top when getting there was much harder than it is today. And even if I did not make it or did not have a long big league career like I wanted I made a living for me and my family for 15 years in the US and Japan so I will not complain.

Another example. I and a number of citizens went to that planing commission meeting yesterday to protest their rezoning the area below the Kapaa middle school for so called low income housing that would greatly exacerbate the traffic problem in that area we already have. My final statement to them was PUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE IN PLACE BEFORE BUILDING OUT AN AREA---STOP READY FIRE AIMING.

The project may still move forward but, again, at least I and other citizens had their say and tried to stop a project that does not belong there. I am a dumb haole and will remain one till I depart but I will at least rest assured that I did my best to change life for all of us (my children when they move here and everyone else) by trying.

Your pal,