Monday, October 27, 2008

A CALL FOR CHANGE AT THE KENNEL

A CALL FOR CHANGE AT THE KENNEL: “What’s so bad about Bernard Carvalho”, asked a caller the other day, “He seems like a nice enough guy.”

It’s a question a lot of people are asking and it just shows to go ya how little people know or care about how corrupt or incompetent leaders on Kaua`i are.

The same people who are the first to complain about their government for 729 days in a row- even many of those who can tell you exactly what’s wrong and needs to change- suddenly take idiot pills on the first Tuesday of every other November and vote for the guy they most want sitting next to them on a barstool.

Our backhanded endorsement of JoAnn Yukimura last September was based not on her potential actions as a Mayor but the dangers of a Carvalho administration.

And not much has changed since then.

It’s sometimes hard to fathom why the self-same people who are disgusted with the Bryan Baptiste administration are willing to continue the regime for the next two years with someone who is even less competent than Baptiste was (if that’s possible) and was actually personally responsible for most of his biggest blunders.

Carvalho is a walking talking contradiction. Just look at the meaningless drivel of his sloganeering. It’s truly baffling how he can first shill his own “leadership” skills by saying “I know what to do and how to make decisions” and then, when asked specifically about how he would solve a specific problem tells you “I’ll ask the people and let them decide”..

Hey we got news for ya Bernard- that’s why we’re electing you- to make the decisions. That’s why as mayor, you get the big bucks

And so let’s look at what Bernard has actually done- yes he does have a record- when he has to actually figure out what to do about an intractable obstruction.

Any examination shows exactly how his disastrous management skills over the past six years have caused most of the worst blunders his boss has been tagged with creating.

Whenever Baptiste faced an unsolvable problem his first action was to set up one of his infamous “task forces”. And the first one appointed to most of them was Carvalho.

These task forces were usually made up strictly of Baptiste’s county-employed sycophants like Carvalho along with so called “stakeholders”- which never seemed be concerned, knowledgeable citizens but rather assorted cronies, hacks and executives from business interests in the projects they were tasked with overseeing.

And the results were predictable- they were all, without exception, unmitigated disasters, leaving things worse than when they started. .

Barnard’s job as head of the Community Assistance- a hodge podge of administrative agencies- was based on letting Bernard take charge of the really screwed up stuff because, well, how much harm could he do?- it couldn’t get much worse.

One of Bernard’s first debacles was the new Lydgate camping areas. After Bernard and his task force took charge, rather than bother finding out what the actual laws concerning the requirements for the camp grounds were, Bernard decided that he’d just build them first and ask questions later.

According to his own testimony before a disbelieving head-shaking county council, he built them without required permits and so forgot to make them compliant with half a dozen regulations including the US Americans with Disabilities Act- causing them to have to be torn out and redone at county expense.

Another associated task force was the one dealing with the “bike path” where Bernard took the already problem-plagued project and drove it into another half-dozen disasters like the illegal Kealia pavilions and of course the dog path controversy, which were all Bernard’s doings.

Carvalho is the one who unilaterally and illegally declared the bike path to be a “lateral park” causing months of hilarious entertainment in the council chambers as the council spent their time refereeing disputes between “dog nuts” and “dog haters”, as the sides characterized each other.

He also made the decision to push forward with the portion of the path that will now have to torn out because, despite warnings from the real experts and council members, the dunderheads on his task force built it anyway, right next to the dilapidated illegal Pono Kai seawall where it sits poised to be eaten by the ocean any day now.

And wait- there’s more... now, if elected he will be proceeding with plans to run the “coastal path” across the highway and through the Safeway and Foodland parking lots, right through the place with the worst traffic on the island.

Carvalho, as ultimate de facto head of the Housing Agency also led the “affordable housing” task force that has done nothing but keep track of what housing developers have built.

Despite “affordable housing” being the top issue in the last two county elections, under Carvalho the Baptiste administration did not create one new housing unit- they just “claimed” as their accomplishment any that were in the pipeline or demanded by the council as part of a development.

He even blew the chance- and continues to blow it- to turn state lands into affordable housing. Although most of the land that the state proposed be used was Hawaiian lands, Carvalho took what was a difficult task-that of negotiating with DHHL and OHA- and made it into an impossible one.

After years of personally attempting to negotiate use of the lands the project is now apparently dead and, because of his bungling, the state agencies are no longer interested in signing a memorandum of agreement, with the sides being farther apart than ever according to council testimony.

Drugs? Remember when the ice epidemic was going to be the number one focus for Baptiste? Well all he had to do was bring in Bernard and assemble another task force for the problem to get worse today.

Their biggest move was to secretly pick the old dog pound as a place appropriate to house and treat troubled teens with drug problems.

Bernard’s penchant for “forgetting” to ask anybody- either in the community or among the agencies whose sign-offs would be needed for construction- led to the loss of more cash from the county coffers when the Hanapepe community found out about it after it was a “done deal” and complained.

Seems that when Bernard finally got around to asking them the answer was “no”. Then the various agencies found out and reported how much it would cost for proper waste water treatment and stopping any runoff that would destroy the nearby ancient and sacred Hawaiian salt making pans causing the council to finally pull the plug.

Carvalho was actually there as the administration representative that was supposed to be the one who said “wait- shouldn’t we check with all the state and county agencies and the people who live there?”.

But of course Bernard is a prime purveyor of what’s been ridiculed by the council as the Baptiste administrations “fire, ready, aim” method of governance.

Also on his watch the Agency for Elderly Affairs- one of those “Community Assistance” agencies he was in charge of- was found to have been trying to extort money out of our kupuna for the free “meals on wheel’s” program.

Rather than ask for voluntary contributions and only if the recipients could afford it, seniors were duped into thinking they had to pay for the meals according to testimony before the council.

The words “recommended donation” were never used as a matter of policy and were replaced by the word “cost”. And even the destitute were told to pay up.

And, as council testimony also showed, rather than do what a good administrator would do- find the private and government grants and programs to fund the program- Carvalho let the program become an underfunding crisis causing cuts in the service.

This caused the county taxpayers to have to pick up much of the tab while the outside private and government funding was left on the table for lack of someone who could find grants and fill out proposals- essentially what he and his staff were supposed to be doing..

“Deck chair shuffling on the Titanic” was apparently the only accomplishment in the Transportation Agency under Barnard’s tutelage. Bus service remains a spotty “rob Peter to pay Paul” operation with no new original grants or programs for expansion under Carvalho, just a lot of “rerouting” which many claim served areas where Baptiste’s voting constituents were more numerous

Not enough? Well, if you ask any tourist what the worst aspect of their visit was they will overwhelmingly tell you it is the condition of our county parks, especially the trash and the conditions of the bathrooms.

Yet for two years officially and another four unofficially under Carvalho the situation hasn’t improved and if anything it’s even worse.

The fact is that not only are there no accomplishments but Carvalho has bungled- and most time bungled badly- every single task he has undertaken over the past six years costing the county millions.

If you like the way Kaua`i has been governed for the last six years, if you like government waste, incompetence, laziness and corruption- if you want more of the same- Bernard is your guy.

If he is elected you can be assured that come December 1 all the departments will be headed up by the same incompetent and corrupt heads... like Planning Director Ian Costa,, County Attorney Matthew Pyun, Director of Finance Wally Rezentes Jr., Office of Economic Development head Beth Tokioka, (although as his campaign manager many think she will move up to administrative assistant) and the rest of the cretins you’ve come to know and disrespect.

Vote for Bernard and they will remain just where they are, shoveling piles of cash to their revolving door cronies and doing favors for the Mayor’s campaign contributors.

Yes. Bernard is a nice guy. So for that matter are the department heads and all the rest of the cast and characters in the criminal conspiracy to defraud the Kaua`i taxpayers who have stealing us blind since 1994.

Now maybe you’re disgusted by the fact that Joann Yukimura has been like infected tonsils that have not just stopped protecting you from disease but are actually causing it now.

We ask you to consider the alternative.

Two different people have written about the “fear of change” tactics of the Carvalho campaign recently quoting local people as saying “if Bernard’s elected, get jobs, if JoAnn’s elected, no more jobs”.

But those county jobs aren’t going anywhere. We suspect what they mean by that is that is that if Bernard is elected all the crooks at the Round Building who are running incompetence clinics and work evasion training for their aunties and cousins will be replaced with competent, experienced, bright people- as happened in 1988... which is the real reason so many people don’t like Yukimura.

But if we want any shot at sustainable energy, Max 3R zero waste programs, adequate public transportation and competent people in our county offices when you need service, vote for Yukimura and stop cutting off your nose to spite your face

4 comments:

nunya said...

"He even blew the chance- and continues to blow it- to turn state lands into affordable housing. Although most of the land that the state proposed be used was Hawaiian lands, Carvalho took what was a difficult task-that of negotiating with DHHL and OHA- and made it into an impossible one."

And, whatʻs wrong with this? Pretty commendable actually. Isnʻt EVERYONE trying to grab the Hawaiians lands? And where does the Supreme Court ruling of no transfer or sale of the lands come into consideration??????

Katy Rose said...

Andy,

I too worry about the support for Carvalho.

For one thing, it distresses me that he has so much labor support when he doesn't even have the decency to get his campaign lit printed at a union shop.

But isn't it the fault and responsibility of the progressives on Kaua'i that we have not been able to make the convincing case that sustainability is good for the kitchen-table economies of working folk?

Max 3R? Tell me how that pays my bills.

Look, I believe in max 3R and all the rest, but if the message isn't clear to people, they're not going to vote for it, especially now in this crisis.

People are standing on a precipice right now. Nobody knows - and everyone's scared shitless - how bad this economic depression is going to be.

Under such circumstances, people stick with the devil they know, unless the devil they don't know spells out the advantages in concrete economic terms.

The "jobs" question I think really comes from the belief that a Carvalho administration will lead to more development, whereas a Yukimura administration will put the brakes on.

Irrational, misinformed - yes. But a real perception from what I gather and it's OUR fault.

I remember once I was doing voter turnout down at the Labor Temple in Missoula, and I got some good old United Paperworkers Union guy on the phone who said "Them damn Republicans want me to work for 50 cents an hour - but the Democrats! They don't want me to work at all!"

Andy Parx said...

Perhaps I was too brief Elaine- Actually Bernard and Bryan wanted to use the land for general affordable housing but OHA and DHHL said no you have to use it for beneficiaries. Rather than agree to use it for affordable housing for qualified beneficiaries B&B kept trying to use it for general AH and finally OHA and DHHL told them to forget it.

And Max3R and zero waste can save the county tens of millions and create jobs Katy- that essentially puts food on the table although people have to think beyond the simplistic jobs=food & shelter paradigm to see it. Problem is JoAnn has been too timid to actually attack Bernard on these and other specific issues- that’s why she will lose. .

Katy Rose said...

Yes, I personally see the connection economically, but I don't see the case being "kitchen-tabled" effectively - and that's a damn shame.