Tuesday, April 12, 2011


DELIGHTFULLY DELUSIONAL: It's pretty rare to be pleasantly surprised by anything the Kaua`i County Council does but it's hard not to be after our only endorsement in the November 2010 election, Kipukai Kuali`i, was selected to replace the bad rubbish to which we've bid good riddance, former Councilmember Derek "Going Places" Kawakami.

Even though we assigned the usual evil motives to the remaining council in our analysis last Tuesday and intentionally left Kualii's name out of our discussion, we now have to admit to missing the fact that there was a bigger picture in the alliance angle we pursued.

Although the list was apparently illegally withheld from public purview we can assume that the names fell into one of two categories: blasts from the past like "fourth generation plantation daughter" Maxine Correa- one of the truly abominable councilmembers in the 80's and early 90's- who actually attended the meeting, or absurdist and delusional self-promoters like Kimo Rosen.

One thing that all probably had in common was that they imagined themselves as someone who would "hit the ground running" whether they had a clue or sought to purchase one. That left the "humble" Kipukai as the only one that would be a complete follower- one who would be depending on the remaining councilmembers to "teach him the ropes."

We're not sure from the description of how the meeting was conducted since of course the article in the local newspaper was "written" by the observationally challenged Leo Azumbuja but we suspect that Mel Rapozo, who is increasingly becoming a minority of one, was left dangling in the wind in his hope for an ally.

Once current Chair Jay Furfaro- who has increasingly seen his bread as being buttered by the progressive wing of Yukimura and Bynum- fell into line, his lap dog Dickie Chang quickly heeled.

That left newbie Nadine Nakamura- who has, after the vote to sustain the plastic bag ban last week apparently declared her allegiance to the Yukimura/Bynum progressive alliance- to continue to drift even closer to them. Although she will no doubt not be able to help herself in trying to find compromises with Rapozo, the fact is that the council could just be gelling into a 5-1 (and now with Kuali`i 6-1) progressive bloc with Nakamura a solid third vote for a majority...one away from the promised land.

Really? Well, maybe.

Look at it this way. Kawakami had not only provided a vote opposing the majority but his apparent popularity had also made Furfaro- and so also Chang- a double swing vote making for a shifting majority depending on whether Furfaro feared Kawakami's sway more than he saw voting with Yukimura and Bynum on the progressive side as beneficial to his hold on the chair- which of course, in the final analysis, is all that his vote depends on.

Removing Kawakami removes that dynamic freeing Furfaro and so Chang.

Of course Chang is not really a solid sixth vote. His allegiance to Furfaro may sway depending on how much pressure the Chamber of Commerce/Kaua`i Visitors' Bureau crowd exerts on him and how far the progressive bloc tries to go.

And, as we said Nakamura's penchant for compromise will be strengthened if there are actually two opposing votes, especially if Chang provides a "second" for any Rapozo's lone-wolf proposals.

We hate to get ahead of ourselves in predicting this kind of amazing and even stunning shift to an overwhelming progressive majority but depending on how things play out, after all the recriminations and resignations to another two year of watching paint dry, this just could be the council we've waited for for decades.

You can bet your Prozac and Lithium on it.

1 comment:

Mauibrad said...

A "double swing" vote? Sounds like a good football running play.

You were right about the odds for the Special Permit, it was 7-0 for, with a few more conditions.