INDEX - JUSTICE
www.islandbreath.org ID# 0715-16
SUBJECT: KAUAI OPEN GOVERNMENT
SOURCE: RAY CHUAN email@example.com
POSTED: 11 NOVEMBER 2007 - 10:00am HST
Kauai Council asks for Bike Path Audit
image above: portion of Kauai Bike Path under construction in spring 2007. Photo by Tom Finnegan
by Ray Chuan on 31 October 2007
What is happening at the Kauai County Govt right now could be the start of a new age of transparency that had been written into our Charter, but consistently ignored by succeeding County Councils, from the day the requirement of a financial audit in the operation of this county government was written into the County Charter, way back in the 1960’s. In view of the sad state of the financial operation of this county, as more than adequately demonstrated by all the shenanigans connected to the so-called Bike Path, it is useful to reprint here a section in Article III, County Council, Section 3.12:
SECTION 3.12. AUDIT
At least every two years and at any other time as may be deemed necessary, the council shall cause an independent audit of all county funds and accounts to be made by a certified public accountant or firm of certified public accountants. The scope of this audit shall be in accordance with the terms of a written contract to be signed by the chairman which shall provide for the completion of the audit within a reasonable time. If the State makes such an audit, the council may accept it as satisfying the requirements of this section. The audit shall be a matter of public record.
Now, that’s pretty clear and simple language; No? Has Section 3.12 ever been exercised? Not to my knowledge, in over fifteen years of trying to be the watch-dog of this elusive and secretive Council.
During Gary Hooser’s last term on the Kauai County Council before going to the state Senate, he tried unsuccessfully to get the Council to ask Marion Higa, the State Auditor, to do an audit. At the State Senate Gary was able to get enough of his colleagues to agree to authorize Marion Higa to do an audit for Kauai County, at the invitation of the Council. As expected, Kauai Council chose not to invite the State Auditor; and that ended that!
Initiated by Coucilman Mel Rapozo and joined by Council members Shaylene Carvalho, Ron Kouchi and Council Chair Kaipo Asing, the majority voted to ask the State Auditor to perform an audit – a limited audit – of the now infamous Bike Path. Of course, this is but a very small step towards an honest and complete audit; but who are we, who have never seen a true audit of the finances of this county, to complain? After all, this could be the beginning of honest government on this island! Another thing we should be happy about. The county – we the tax payers- won’t have to pay for this audit by the State Auditor!
The Council Quartet who voted for this historic event deserves the thanks of all on this island who care about some day having a truly representative and honest County Government!!
I won’t go into further details on this historic event right now; but wanted to get the word out that something extremely significant is about to happen; and, we hope, will lead to far deeper examination of the governance of this fair island. I’m sure once the Bike Path Dam is breached, a lot more will come out. For the present, have you noticed that all the activities on the Infamous Bike Path have mysteriously ceased?!
I guess there must be some hectic activities going on between county officials and “contractors”, burning books and destroying documents, and trying to figure out how to deal with the tax-paying public which, once getting wind of the funny booking activities, will demand ANSWERS!
There is an almost unlimited amount of “dirt” that will be pouring out of the audit.
Stay tuned! There’s a lot more coming!
As for me; I’m fairly well on the way to complete recovery from my accident, My old computer gave up; and I have a brand new one that I hope will keep me going for a while. I apologize for having been off the air for so long; but I am eager to get back, especially when there is such a juicy subject to delve into.