Tuesday, January 5, 2010


UNFAIR TO MIDDLING: We’d been wondering when we’d hear from Rolf Bieber himself telling the long sad story of his public service on the Board of Ethics (BOE) and his abominable treatment by just about everyone in the county administration for trying to do the job he was sworn to do- an unforgivable act on Kaua`i.

Bieber’s letter to the editor in today’s local newspaper cites his saga, chapter and verse, naming names of everyone involved from Mayor Bernard Carvalho to County Attorney Al Castillo, the rest of the BOE members, the members of the county council and assorted king’s-uniform-bedecked bureaucrats and sycophants, all carrying the kings sword.

Bieber writes that his taking of the

oath to preserve the Charter soon aligned me against BOE colleagues, mayoral appointees, the Office of Boards and Commissions (OBC), the County Attorney (CA) and apparently Mayor Carvalho himself, who inexplicably refused to reappoint me to the board for a second term.

But, although the unrivaled plodding cronyism of a politically-tone-deaf Carvalho has set the tone for this administration’s corruption as never before, it could not have been accomplished without Office Boards and Commissions (OBC) administrator John Isobe.

Bieber writes that

Mr. Isobe would on several other occasions try inappropriately to influence me — once, when I requested public documents that could expose members of the administration and commissions he asked that I not share the documents with anyone, and later calling me to meet in his office “to see how things were going” but to actually express his desire for the BOE to reach a “super-majority or unanimous-vote only for release of County Attorney opinions to the public.”

The irony in all this is that it was in fact the same good governance activists that Bieber thanks for their support at the end of the letter who were among those who helped create Isobe’s job.

When the “original” Charter Commission- the one appointed in 2004 under the “every 10 years” provision in the charter- proposed a slew of amendments for the ’06 election, one that all agreed would go a long way toward repairing the apparently broken board and commission system on Kaua`i was the creation of the OBC.

The problems the commission found were due to the lack of guidance from the administration as most newly appointed B&C members were just thrown into their position with no idea what they were doing there.

The thought was that an office of B&Cs would provide the necessary support with training and a one-stop central place for commissioners and board members to go with questions as to how to do their jobs correctly and ethically.

But, as we all find out sooner or later, you can write good legislation and charter provisions until you’re blue in the face but if corrupt-minded individuals dedicated to obedience and cronyism are elected and those elected appoint more of the same to administrative posts there’s little that will work the way it’s supposed to.

Rather than facilitating the B&C members in their quest to uphold their oath Isobe has intervened to make sure they serve the political goals of the mayor.

We can tinker with- or even fully rewrite- the Kaua`i County Charter. But if we continue to elect self-aggrandizing boobs like Carvalho with a “give the new guy a chance” and “how bad could he be” attitude we will, as Bieber says, keep finding out what we knew already... “together we can’t”

One more note- Bieber writes:

In April of 2009, Castillo told me he had meetings with Kauai Circuit Court Judge Randal Valenciano on several occasions concerning 20.02 (D)

Huh? But April of 2009 the controversy over 20.02(D) had been well underway for years with dueling “interpretations” making the matter ripe for an eventual 5th Circuit Court lawsuit.

We certainly deserve an explanation from both Castillo and Valenciano on this apparent breach of ethics.

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