Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Mayor Vetoes "Agronomics" Bill

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. has vetoed the “agronomics” bill that would have created a separate real estate tax classification for the seed companies.

Given the makeup of the new Council, a veto override appears unlikely. The bill, introduced by defeated Councilman Tim Bynum, was passed by a 4-2 vote at the last meeting of the old Council, with Councilmen Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa opposed and Jay Furfaro absent.

In a letter to Council Chair Rapozo, the mayor said that in taking the oath of office on Dec. 1, he was sworn to uphold the state Constitution, which calls for protecting agricultural land and diversified agriculture.

"After studying the bill, it is my conclusion that it does not achieve these goals and in fact impedes the promotion and expansion of diversified agriculture on Kauai,” he wrote.

The mayor characterized the bill as “poorly crafted" and said it "disincentivizes certain forms of agricultural production, and would be difficult and costly to implement and enforce.”

He went on to write that key terms in the bill are not clearly defined “and do not reflect the regulatory realities that currently exist at the federal and state levels of government.” The mayor also pointed out that “the majority of the crop acreage which this bill appears to target is not regulated by the federal government.”

The bill specifically references crops regulated by the federal government in an effort to single out GMO and experimental crops.

Furthermore, since some of the companies are subleasing land to others and growing cover crops used for grazing, “this bill would also effectively raise property taxes on ranchers and smaller farmers growing crops such as green beans, ginger and sweet potatoes,” the mayor wrote.

“This point underscores the fact that these companies are part of our diversified agricultural mix, and provide valuable agricultural benefits to Kauai beyond their core business of growing seed crops,” the mayor wrote. “In addition to working cooperatively with farmers and ranchers, they maintain agricultural infrastructure such as roads and irrigation systems which fell into disrepair following the demise of the sugar plantations.”

The mayor concluded the bill would be “detrimental to our efforts to expand agricultural opportunities for all types of farming on Kauai” and the financial benefits would not justify either the costs to administer it or the impacts on agriculture.

“We look forward to continued partership with the council, along with our ranchers and farmers, on how we can create opportunities for support and expansion of diversified agriculture on our island,” the mayor wrote in his final paragraph.


Anonymous said...

So the Mayor is "all-in" with the seed companies. Are you happy about that Joan? Lets not talk about the Hoos and other red shirt idiots, please tells us how you feel about the core issue of GMO companies completely dug on Kauai, with full support from both council and Mayor. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I wish Hooser really had another job waiting for him because if he had any pride at all he’d resign in anger over the veto. But then he has no honor.....and no job prospects either. Mouths are cheap and plentiful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mayor Carvalho.
Tim's last piece of BS is gone.
Leave Ag alone, or if y'all wanna tell Ag what to do, spend a day er two putting up a fence line. Or fixing a hanawai ditch. Bye Bye, Tim Bynum, many are so glad you are gone.
We look forward to the Council under Mel's fair guidance to fix the NS/local rift....Gary will be trying to toss his salad in all meetings, but the rules will keep him "on point" or it will be gavel down.

Anonymous said...

2:59 Do you want the Tax Department to look at your leases? The Bynum Bill was anti-Ag, but was also a test of the lease evaluation method of Taxation...complicated, difficult to enforce and has the Government's nose in private business.
Leave Ag lands in the Ag people's hands.
3:04 da Hoos could get a job as a an Anti-Ag lobbyist in a fat heart beat. He started the Milyun Li'l Fistees and "the li'l island that could"...he is world famous. He may have just squeaked in by his double-chinny chin chin for the Council, but he has been on National TV and rubs elbows with the rich and influential.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, Miss Joan? How do you keep so sharp and prolific?
Thank you....

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mayor Carvalho.

Now council, work together! Mel, Ross, Gary, Joann, Mason, Arryl, KipuKai. Put together something that can work for all parties. Something that is legal and defensible.

DIPLOMACY. Look it up, memorize it. Be it. Do it. For this and any other bills, resolutions, whatever, controversial or not.

I am neither for nor against seed companies. Like in most things, the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. This seems to be what most of the people I know agree with. But those people are humble and dont' feel that they need to yell, cry, pound their fists to get their way. Just a simple vote in the ballot box.

Joan Conrow said...

2:59 -- Just because the mayor vetoes a bad piece of legislation, as he did with the overturned 2491, does not mean he is "all in" with the seed companies.

As for me, I was opposed to the "agronomics" bill from the get-go for all the other reasons the mayor stated and because I felt it was ludicrous to pretend that seed crops aren't diversified agriculture.

If people want the seed companies to go away, they need to come up with a viable alternative. Until then, the companies are maintaining ag infrastructure, keeping land in an economically valuable agricultural use and providing people who want to work in ag with good jobs.

Anonymous said...

And, just to bring a dose of reality into all this, today, on my farm, I spent a very long tedious, wet, cold day, pulling a certain weed out of the wet muddy ground.

I am dogtired, totally sore in parts of my body I didn't even know i had, and to top it all of, I wrestled, today with demons out there.

The little herbicide demon on my shoulder told me to use roundup. Come on, just a little. Screw this organic crap. Come on, man, your body hurts, your cold, wet and tired, and these weeds will just pop up all over again in another week or two, and you will be an old, bent over stooped person!

Yes, the temptation was so strong, really strong, the strongest ever. yet, I persevered, and pulled them all!

Hallelujah!! And a choir of angels did not sing.

However, when i got home, my body did a lot of singing.

It went something like this: "Ouch! Ow!" "Owie!"

Just thought you all might get a good chuckle from that. Story is a hundred percent true, BTW.

Chuck Lasker said...

6:24 PM - That is great that you're willing to do that work. We should support all forms of agriculture.

Anonymous said...

@ Chuck Lasker- "ALL" forms of agriculture? Are you sure? Even those which deplete the soil through monocropping and overuse of pesticides/herbicides. Even those which add pollutants to streams, rivers and oceans? Happening all over the midwest USA. And let's not forget Argentina. Take time to research Argentina and the health problems of people who live and work near soybean fields. It is not a pretty picture. Here is an interesting article from Argentina-

Anonymous said...

Thanks for not answering the question Joan "2:59"

Joan Conrow said...

I did answer your question. Perhaps you have a reading comprehension problem?

Anonymous said...

Got Kale?

Anonymous said...

Kale is high in oxalate and causes kidney stones.

Anonymous said...

Is Ross still working as a teacher? How does the DOE account for all his time away from school? Doesn't the council job take away from his responsibility to his students and school?

Anonymous said...

Beet greens and chard are high in oxalates, kale is not. It is high in calcium, easy to grow and tasty too.

Anonymous said...

9:37 Kauai is pretty small, I'm sure he worked it out. Teaching is a tough profession, that I know, and it pays peanuts. Teachers are nuts for doing it.

Anonymous said...

Can the Mayor VETO the North Shore Shuttle?

Ripping off Kauai for $150,000 for a 5 month trial period.

I didn't know the County of Kauai is in Business to give out free money but with all the lawsuits, gas theft ring, and other Shibai; who knows what the county of Kauai is doing these days.

In other news: anyone that wants to buy unregistered guns can contact a dirty KPD officer anytime.

Anonymous said...

The seed companies have been here far longer than most of the fistees have been alive, and definitely longer than Hooser or Bynum have since taken up residence on the Garden Island. The vast fields of sunflowers ,soybeans, corn and other crops grown for seed have been a part of the Kauai agriculture landscape for over 50 years. Used to enjoy the the acres of sunflowers on the Mana stretch going out to surf the west side.

Anonymous said...

@9:37 That is a good question and should be looked at. The state has to pay Ross and his substitute when he is at the council meetings and not in school and the county is paying him during the same time. Is this legal? I believe teachers only get 2 or 3 days of personal leave per year. Must be hard on his students, too. How is he managing this? Joan, can you research this?

Anonymous said...

11:12 Holy Flying School Bus, Batman- Let the Schools "investigate" Ross. He is their employee. This employment is in the light of day.
The bollywonkers if you want "investigations" are da Hoos and the clandestine money of HAPA, HAPA's real purpose etc.
JoAnn's many friends getting water meters or expedited permits over DECADES. etc etc....many shadows in the clandestine world of Council and cash.
Or a real hot one "why does Mel wear pastel shirts?" many people think that these pastel shirts are "code" for something. Is it a Cop Color of the day? A signal to his allies?

Anonymous said...

Of Topic...Tax assessments came in.
As I go thru my stack of is clear that the Tax Office has USED THE SIMPLEST TOOL to get more money for the County.
The Assessors have now really tried to get the true market value on properties. This will increase income to the County big time. Financial woes are SOLVED. I pay more, but this is a legal and fair way to get more dough....good job, STEVE HUNT. He uses the tools at his feet and uses them wisely.
And by the way, the stack I get from Oahu has assessments and Tax amounts much higher.....Oahu taxes suck the very blood out of the jugular vein, Kauai taxes are hammer to the big toe...we all must pay our share.

Anonymous said...

At 11:12 p.m.: "The state has to pay Ross and his substitute when he is at the council meetings and not in school and the county is paying him during the same time." "Must be hard on his students, too."

It's fine to make a request to research. It's stupid to make unfounded accusations before requesting that issues be researched. Sounds like someone who is interested in making trouble and talking crap than getting to the bottom of things.