Your Views for July 18


Council furloughs

I was appalled to read that our local elected officials were afforded the luxury of “opting out” of furlough days and that six of them felt no compunction in doing so (several even declared a lack of knowledge of actually doing so).

When my husband worked at Hilo Medical Center as a nurse, he was compelled to take two furlough days a month. Unlike other county and state employees who could stay home or work at another job on furlough days, hospital workers had to work on their furlough days. That meant WORKING TWO DAYS A MONTH FOR FREE.

And our elected officials come up with lame excuses to OPT OUT? I certainly will be thinking quite differently at the next election of council members and hope I won’t be alone.

Susan Wood

Pahoa

Shameful cartoon

The editorial cartoon of July 16 is disgusting and incendiary. It ignores the facts and subverts the justice system. You should be ashamed.

Lon Hocker

Hilo

Good legislation

Some perspective to the Wednesday, July 10, article regarding county lot-clearing legislation.

1. Bill 64 streamlines processes for laws that are already in place to order the removal of hazardous trees from private property. Under Chapter 20 of the County Code, the county may already clear a lot at the owner’s expense when it has become a fire, health or crime hazard. Bill 64 doesn’t create a new burden; it emphasizes an overlooked health hazard. A resident may also contact the state Civil Defense when a neighbor’s tree threatens his home or property, and the state may order the removal of that tree at the owner’s expense. Bill 64 extends the process to local government, allowing the county to assess hazard trees and take prompt action to protect you.

2. Previously, the county rule only applied to unoccupied lots. Residents who have lived for years beside garbage piles and brittle, dangerous trees, or had albizia trees fall onto their property, can now find relief. No one should have to live in fear because a neighbor won’t manage their property. Given funding, this law will allow for prompt action in the case of emergencies and threats to public health, safety and private property.

3. The County Code allows for variances when the enforcement would create an unnecessary hardship and practical difficulty.

4. Mahalo to County Council members for supporting proactive legislation for public safety and environmental health.

Springer Kaye

Hilo

 

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