Friday, May 27, 2011


A SPORTING CHANCE: The cronyism in Mayor Bernard Carvalho's administration is already legendary. After his election to a full term last November competence sank to the bottom of the list of qualifications to hold appointed office.

And recently hizzonnah actually confirmed it in an interview.

As Joan Conrow wrote yesterday

I went to see Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. yesterday.

He’d called me last week, and asked if I’d be willing to sit down and talk story. We'd met, but never really had a discussion...

After a bit of small talk, he made the reason for our get-together clear: he wanted to know the person behind the blog...

Bernard then said he was opening the door for me to call him any time, and asked if I had any questions.

Why do we get the feeling we won't be getting a call.

Joan couldn’t help but ask about Carvalho's end run around the council's kuleana in a mid-budget-year hiring of five cronies, accomplished by shifting around money in his office to fill "dollar funded" positions- including one for ousted and disgraced former Deputy Planning Director Imai Aiu, a noted Carvalho water carrier who was alleged to have been the target of an FBI investigation before resigning.

Carvalho's response?

In explaining the rationale behind his hires, the mayor used a football metaphor that placed him as the quarterback in the line up. “I gotta be able to trust the guys on either side of me,” said the former Miami Dolphins player, looking right and left, his face and voice registering excitement. I could imagine him preparing to hike the pigskin. “I don’t ask how much they’re making, I just know they’re gonna be able to run with the ball and make a touchdown.”

It seems that Bernard, who advanced from the rank and file during his 26 years with the county, knows how difficult it can be to light a fire under the butts of some county workers, is aware of their tendency to cruise and wait out the term of the newest mayor. After sitting in the mayor’s chair for two years, fulfilling the term and agenda of the late Mayor Baptiste, he was eager now to make his own mark, advance his own ideas. And to do that, he said, he knew needed to put people he could trust, and whom he could personally hold accountable, in some key positions.

He acknowledges their participation in his campaign, and is aware that some of us view it as political patronage. He, however, sees it as insurance that at least some of the changes he envisions will occur.

Un-freakin'-believable. Normally any corrupt pol will at least TRY to make believe that the hires were the best person for the job. But perhaps Bernard knew that the laughing would have shattered ear drums from Kekaha to Ha`ena had he tried to foist such bullsh*t on us.

As if to make the point that the "protected" class of county employee is there to make sure nothing happens, at yesterday’s final passage of the county's operating budget it was revealed that the poster child for the county's cart-before-the-horse, incompetency-preservation scheme, the curbside recycling program, was essentially killed by the council because once again the purchase of the horse was not even in the budget.

A year or so ago the mayor dragged out a brand new curbside recycling "pilot program" making use of the county's brand new automated trash trucks and the purchase of a bunch of 96 gallon trash bins.

The problem is that the rest of the world makes sure they have some way to actually deal with the recycled items before they ask people to separate them and put them out by the curb.

But not good old Bernard and his good old boys and girls.

The missing sorting facility- called a materials recycling facility or MERF- was supposed to finally be part of this year's budget after years of delay for reasons unknown. But guess what? It was nowhere to be found, according to Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura's comments on the budget on Wednesday.

She explained that the lack of the MERF in the mayor's budget was why the council decided to end the curbside recycling program. It seems, she said, that the administration had at first told the council that it would cost only a reasonable $2,000 a month to sort the collected recyclables that were put in the bins unsorted. But when the bill came it was actually $14,000 a month- an outrageous amount $168,000 a year instead of $24,000.

So who's in charge of this mess? None other than the county's poster child for incompetence for over a decade and a half, Solid Waste Division head Troy Tanegawa, the epitome of the protected county employee who, through three administrations, has become the king of "fire, ready, aim." incompetence.

Having a "vision" is a two sided coin. It only works if the vision is based on a presumption that those engaged in its execution have the solid background to pull it off.

In football, the undrafted free agent may be the most enthusiastic player in the world but that and the fact that he's the owner's nephew doesn't insure he'll "be able to run with the ball and make a touchdown" like the first round draft pick.

In little league everyone gets to play, regardless of talent. But you'd think government would be a little more professional.

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