Your Views for March 11

Beyond nauseating

Reading about Richard and Deborah Standke’s construction project in Keaukaha leaves me honestly sick to my stomach.

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Rarely do I hear of people so arrogant, ignorant, disrespectful and contemptuous. It’s terrible and heartbreaking to see such people move into precious Keaukaha.

Every one of Mr. Standke’s rationalizations for why they should proceed undeniably reflects “me, me and more me” and “the rest of you are rubbish” attitudes.

Los Angeles, huh? I wish those neighbors appealing the county’s approval of the Standkes’ special permit the very best of success. Imua!

The Standkes’ karma will catch up with them, but probably not soon enough for me. Evidently, the current system enables the beloved Hilo lifestyle to be sold to the highest bidder. Way beyond nauseating.

Mary Lee Knapstad

Volcano

Kim’s promises

Surprise, surprise. Mayor Harry Kim increased the county fuel tax with promises that the additional tax revenue would be dedicated to better highway maintenance and improvements to the Hele-On bus service.

What we subsequently get, though, is a budget that defunds improvements to the Hele-On system and retards road resurfacing from once every 30 years to once every 69 years (Tribune-Herald, March 2). This is a good lesson in the fungibility of money. And in the unreliability of political promises.

I know that Mayor Kim is caught between a rock and a hard place, but his promises of dedicating the fuel tax increase to highways and transportation were disingenuous. He had to know that large increases in county salaries and benefits were coming and those fuel tax promises would be unfulfillable without an increase in the general excise tax. It seems the only political promise we taxpayers can believe is that taxes will go up and services will go down.

This sort of problem will continue until the state and county stop violating a core management principle: Responsibility and accountability must be accompanied by authority.

The only way taxes can be controlled, and county function improved, is for the county to re-establish some authority over its expenses for government salaries and benefits. Lacking that control, we can expect yet more taxes and fewer services in the future.

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Skip Sims

Ninole