Tuesday, February 1, 2011


A SPLENDID TIME IS GUARANTEED FOR ALL: We’ve got to admit severe ambivalence when it comes to Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s administration’s attempts to control its message, especially with the recent ramp-up of command and control.

While we’d like to say we admire the effort purely for it’s Machiavellian efficiency it’s often done with such bumblingly transparent obfuscation and manipulation that it’s bound to infuriate the public to a level in precise one-to-one ratio with the effort to maintain secrecy.

Yesterday’s press release announcing a Thursday “meeting to discuss the county's plans for an adolescent drug treatment center on Kaua`i” quotes Carvalho’s Anti-Drug Coordinator Theresa Koki as saying that:

“After a long search and consideration of many factors, we have narrowed the location of the adolescent drug treatment center down to two proposed sites in central Kaua`i (and w)e invite the community to come to the meeting on Thursday and be a part of this important discussion.”

And where exactly would those two locations be? The release pointedly leaves out that information.

Well if you wanted to make sure that the people who live next door to the proposed center won’t show up to make humbug the best way is to not tell them their neighborhood is targeted.

The problem is that then you’re assured to get them so pissed off at having to read in the paper Friday that they missed the meeting when it was announced it would be in their neighborhood, that they will fight tooth and nail against it

Let’s not forget that the last attempt to site the treatment center at the old dog pound was exacerbated by the fact that many in the Hanapepe community found out about the location only after it was a “done deal.” Adding that factor to the obvious one of putting our kids in a place that was no longer fit for dogs to occupy, put rejection of the plan over the top when residents rose up against former Mayor Bryan Baptiste for his lack of consultation with residents in the area.

And make no mistake- the lack of any indication of the locations was no oversight.

As if to make sure that it’s clear to everyone what the issues are and how they are being intentionally kept in the dark the release says:

“A recent series of meetings focusing on the critical need to provide these services for our youth has made us hopeful that the so-called “NIMBY” issues are behind us and that our community is ready to move forward on behalf of our kids,” said the mayor.

So just to assure that if there is any good will for the project they destroy it by manipulating the process.

Just to make sure though we asked Koki in an email this morning, “Can you tell me where the two adolescent treatment center alternatives are? Or are you refusing to release that information before the meeting?”

Her answer confirmed the flim-flam saying, “You are correct that the two alternatives will be discussed the night of the meeting.”

Apparently Koki couldn’t do more to make sure that this latest effort at siting the facility is a complete and utter failure if she tried.

First of all selecting two sites insures that the two communities will be pitted against each other throughout the process. Just look at the process of siting of the new landfill which, when it went through an “open process” that turned out to be anything but, was a complete bust. But when the administration announced that they had decided to pick a site, give the reasons and be done with it, we’ve heard little to no protest, especially about the way it was selected.

That’s what we elect a leader to do- make decisions. They may not always be popular ones but most people will give the leader credit for making one, especially when a problem like the landfill- or the drug treatment facility- siting has lingered for literally decades.

Just be honest and open about it.

But to hold a meeting where the ultimate “stakeholders” are not even told they have been selected insures a sour taste in their mouths when they learn that they have been picked- and that they missed the meeting where it was discussed.

That’s the way to ensure that this whole process gets off on the wrong foot and that there will be lingering animosity throughout the process.

It would all be funny if it weren’t so pathetic. Can’t anyone here play this game?


Note: Our copy editor will be off island for the next two week. Now you’ll know how sloppy we really are. We apologize in advance for any typos or errors.


Clark said...

I have to correct you on this statement:
Adding that factor to the obvious one of putting our kids in a place that was no longer fit for dogs to occupy, put rejection of the plan over the top when residents rose up against former Mayor Bryan Baptiste for his lack of consultation with residents in the area.
This is not accurate as I was one of the subcontractors on that original project. It was engineered and designed for a renovation and some new construction. Not fit for dogs is an untruth. I agree with the rest of the blog.

Mila said...

Secrecy......works for a lot of things going on here. A house in a CPR in Hanamaulu has been used as
a release/halfway house/sober house/not sure what they call it - for quite a while, but nobody including the owners informed the other owners/tenants of this arrangement. So it happened quietly. Unable not to notice the various males walking/driving up the common driveway in front of the rest of the homes. Vehicles also visited with State or County seals on their doors, so there was knowledge and/or participation of govt entities in this arrangement.
When you have kids, single women residing at this same address, wouldn't it have been the right thing to do to notify others that parolees/probationers, etc. were living a few feet away? Did it happen? NO.