Your Views for July 27
Time for equal pay
Like many others, I am always skeptical about pay raises for county employees. However, the recent news that our police professionals will receive a better pay/benefit package is welcome. Men and women who take risks to patrol our streets, ensuring our safety, deserve our support, and they have mine.
It’s also time to take another look at the pay/benefit package for our other first-responders. Firefighters and EMTs are no less deserving of that same support. Firefighters and EMTs’ pay and benefit package is substantially lower than our police officers, and they deserve equal pay.
I’m not so sure about the upper-level bureaucrats who have also received substantial pay increases, while those who are charged with actively saving lives and property remain underpaid. If the system were truly fair, the police, firefighters and paramedics would have the priority for pay raises, and the paper-pushers behind desks would receive less of a raise.
Support our first responders!
Good care at HMC
We have all heard the rumors about Hilo Medical Center. In fact, when an inflamed appendix drove me to the emergency room more than 10 years ago, I wrote my first will and testament and had it witnessed before allowing anyone to transport me. However, the world has changed, and given that it is a public facility, Hilo Medical Center has morphed into a healing, wellness and customer-service oriented place.
I recently spent a week at HMC. Once again, it was emergency medical treatment. I experienced such compassion, nurturing and genuine caring that I was able to focus on my healing. I was asked again and again, “Is there anything else I can get for you? Let me know if you need anything.” At a time, when I felt completely vulnerable, I was encompassed by a warm, fuzzy feeling that emanated from almost each and every individual with whom I came into contact.
I feel it is an important public service to let everyone know about my experience. I am writing this to thank the many individuals responsible for my care, but also to inform the community of this excellent resource and the wonderful health care team that makes up the staff of the HMC emergency room and the third floor medical unit. It would be nice to have new, more positive beliefs circulating about our Hilo Medical Center.
Your July 4 article, “Dinner scrutinized,” omits crucial context by leaving out an important part of my comment.
What I said was that back in 2008, when I first got elected, seven council members had eaten together at Drysdale’s in Kona because that was close to the location of our meetings at the Sheraton.
This did not happen during the current council term. I appreciate the accurate reporting of comments.
Dennis “Fresh” Onishi
Hawaii County Council member
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