Whimper versus Bang!

SUBHEAD:In the list of those on the new council is new generation that’s all too willing to kow-tow to the mucky-mucks.

By Andy Parx on 3 November 2010 for park News Network - (http://parxnewsdaily.blogspot.com/2010/11/bang-v-whimper.html)

Image above: Tinted still frame from "Citizen Kane". Mashup by Juan Wilson.

 It’s not without a wave of ambivalence that we greet the news that we won’t have Kaipo Asing to kick around anymore. We relished the possibility that he would seek another term and actually lose at the polls after announcing earlier that the last term would be his final one, if for no other reason than to send a message that the old days of secrecy and paternalism were over.

But we can’t help but feel sad it came to that. Not only was Kaipo at one time a force for the people- and sometimes the only one- on a council full of self prompting, pro-development corporate shills but was a good friend during the years we spent attending every council meeting.

A few years ago, at the first court hearing regarding the infamous ES-177, Kaipo told us privately - and later denied doing so - that he didn’t really care what the Sunshine Law said, he had always done what he thought was best for the people of Kauai and would continue to do so no matter no matter what it took or what people said and did.

Though we, and apparently most of the people of Kauai,  eventually rejected this method of governance he was never the type of corporate shill that has dominated the council over the last few decades. Looking up and down the list of those who comprise the new council that’s all we see- a new generation that’s all too willing to kow-tow to the mucky-mucks and embrace the old boys machine when it benefits them politically.

Even a political neophyte knows Kaipo’s departure leaves a huge leadership vacuum and the fight for the chair will show a lot about the new and returning councilmembers.

A three-way battle is shaping up between Derek Kawakami, Jay Furfaro and JoAnn Yukimura but the determining factor may not be who cuts the best deals for committee chairs as it usually is when a new chair comes in but whether or not the process plays out in public or behind closed doors.

Watch to see if the “open meeting” plays out with genuine intrigue and public horse-trading or whether it appears scripted and pre-determined to give the indication of whether this council will really move in a direction that rejects the back room dealings of Asing’s council or whether the change at the top just means more room for other assorted hacks and self absorbed buffoons.

Asing’s departure could serve as a new opportunity for progressive change but with the current crop of possibilities it will most assuredly serve an opportunity for another power junkie to climb to the top of the dung heap.

e’ve been watching this movie for many years and aren’t expecting much from this group. We’ve been surprised before but no one’s holding their breath.


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