The Kauai County Council has advanced a resolution that would allow voters to decide whether they want to rescind Council term limits.
The issue will go to a public hearing on Aug. 16. On Sept. 2, the Council will decide whether to place the charter amendment on the 2016 ballot.
I asked Councilman Ross Kagawa why he introduced the resolution. He replied:
I'm just doing it because I feel like a lot has changed in Kauai since 2006 and that term limits could keep some very important people like Mel [Rapozo] from continuing to serve at a very critical point in our lives. That being said I believe the voters are doing a fine job themselves of keeping councilmembers from serving too long. No councilmember has ever reached the term limit, Jay Furfaro came the closest, he was seeking his 4th term. So the question is why have it? Let the voters decide, they're already doing it anyway. We had only 9 people run for council in 2012, 24 ran in 2014. 3 new councilmembers were elected. A lot has changed.
But Carl Imparato, noting that voters approved term limits by a margin of 69-31 in 2006, told the Council there is “no reason to think voters are willing to change their mind.”
Ross, however, disputed that, saying he didn't think voters put much thought into the issue in 2006, when a dozen charter amendments crowded the ballot.
Councilman KipuKai Kualii said he would like to see the Council members run for numbered seats. “People who are doing well wouldn't even get challenged and incumbents who are upsetting the voters will get challenged,” he said. “Term limits, that is not the way to give voters more choice. Anybody different always has a chance.”
Meanwhile, the Kauai County Office of the Prosecutor has lost its most skilled deputies. First Deputy Kevin Takata has already departed, with Lisa Arin, Melinda Mendes and Teresa Tumbaga, who was considered the office's best up-and-coming young prosector, on their way out.
As one observer noted:
The OPA under Justin Kollar has seen the same level of turnover as former Prosecutor Shaylene Iseri. Except Shay hemorrhaged deputies from the bottom tier, and Justin's hemorrhaging them from the top.
Still, to Justin's credit, none of his deputies accompanied their resignation with an EEOC complaint. At least, none that I know of.
Interesting to see that the very high profile trial of Darren Galas — charged in 2012 with murdering his wife, Sandra — is finally scheduled for 2016, which just happens to be an election year for the prosecutor.
On a somewhat related note, I recently read a great article entitled, “Is Monsanto Satan? The Pleasure and Problem of Conspiracy Theories.” I especially liked this part:
Belief in Satan has faded over the centuries. But Satan has not disappeared. We need him too much. In the ongoing struggle with inexplicable suffering, there is no greater comfort than finding a target for simple, righteous blame. And so the list of Infernal Names, now secularized, grows ever longer: Big Government, Big Business, Big Pharma, Big Food. These are complex systems, of course—too complex to serve as satisfying scapegoats. But through the alchemy of capital letters we transform them into fairy-tale caricatures of corruption and deceit, villains that help to make sense of it all.
This is why believing in Satan is so dangerous—and so tempting: If he really exists, we can protect our most deeply held beliefs by blaming any opposition on the work of a great deceiver. There is no need for dialogue. In fact, dialogue is inadvisable, because the deceiver is so powerful that any contact risks corruption.
[The conspiracy theorist’s view] is frightening because it magnifies the power of evil, leading in some cases to an outright dualism in which light and darkness struggle for cosmic supremacy. At the same time, however, it is reassuring, for it promises a world that is meaningful rather than arbitrary. Not only are events nonrandom, but the clear identification of evil gives the conspiracist a definable enemy against which to struggle, endowing life with purpose.
Which segues so nicely into closing with this “existential comic;” (you can click to enlarge, or follow the link):