to change the county charter  and restore sovereignty to every citizen.

Recent quotes from three of our own county council members on their positions as elected officials are revealing as to how they view their proper roles : 

“it sometimes takes a law to change people's behavior”

 "Sometimes I have to be forced to do things that are right and I don't want to.”

 (I need) “to take charge, to lead our County, to define policy in the best interests of the people of our island. “

Frightening, isn't it !

Our county government lately has taken on 3 roles:

  • Administrative (such as determining how many police to hire, or where a road should go, or how to process garbage). This is an appropriate level of authority and responsibility for them to play.
  • Telling us what things we CAN NOT do i.e.:restricting our rights, more so every year
  • Taking our money: i.e.: taxes and fees

We the people have delegated out elected officials the power to be administrators, but we have NOT delegated them the power to restrict our lives and take our money without our permission.

The Consent of the Governed acts will restore forever this authority and sovereignty to the people of the Big Island.



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Ms Jamie Story (oct 2010) cutting the pork from the legislatures sacred cows

Ms. Jamie Story, president of the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, gave the October 2010 address to the Conservative Forum for Hawaii on “Cutting the Pork from the Legislature’s Sacred Cows”. Ms. Story reviewed how the mission of the Grassroot Institute to promote a more free and prosperous Hawaii had led them to several investigations of the state government. With the demise of one major local paper and 2 TV stations, there was a dearth of objective scrutiny of the government, but with their small but dedicated full-time staff they were actively on watch with their second annual Hawaii Pork Report, their “Trim the Fat” contest, their Legislative Report Card, their review of Honolulu “The Boat to No Where”, fiscal analysis for the Honolulu rail project, and many other projects.

She set the tone with a quote from Ronald Reagan: “Government is not the solution to our problems, government IS the problem.”

She proceeded with a litany of facts unveiled from their investigations this year:

  • In Honolulu County, “The Boat” ferry ended up 97% subsidized for its rider ship. For every $2 fare, taxpayers paid an additional $60.
  • Excess $1.4 Billion was found in state special funds balances.
  • 45% of Department of Education employees are NOT teachers.
  • Public transportation rider ship has DECREASED in every city in the nation but one after instituting public rail transport programs.
  • Hawaii is the ONLY state in the USA that does not require fiscal notes to analyze legislation. In effect, the legislature goes shopping with taxpayer money without looking at or caring about the price tag of what they are spending money on.
  • The Department of education spent $2.4 million on substitute janitors.

(The prior year, they had spent only $800,000 on substitute teachers)

They also spent $1.7 million on substitute clerical workers and $280,000 on substitute security guards.

  • In the central administration, there were 1036 non-teaching administrators, 112 secretaries and 46 clerk typists. Perhaps a small investment in training the administrators to be their own clerks and typists would be more cost effective.
  • A former principal was given a contract for $800,000 for consultation on restroom cleaning, with no demonstrated experience or knowledge of the issue
  • The Banzai Rock skate park was completed 12 years behind schedule, 30% smaller than planned, with a $100,000 cost overrun. This is the same city that claims it can build a $5.5 billion train along 20 miles in 10 years, on time and on budget.

She then reviewed the Good, Bad and Ugly from the recent 2010 legislative session.

The Good:

            2 bills that passed (only two):

  • The passage of “the castle doctrine” that now did not require citizens to retreat from their homes or properties when attacked in order to avoid liability (Previously, citizens had to if possible)
  • A bill prohibiting the government from confiscating legally owned guns and ammunition in times of emergency (which was previously allowed by law)

            Bills that did NOT pass:

  • A bill to fund a new study of a statewide government funded ferry system (after the legislature had effectively just finished promoting the death of the privately financed Superferry)

The Bad:

  • A bill to DECREASE the salaries of the governor and legislature instead of from 5% to 8.5% did not pass
  • Another special fund (created for UH infrastructure), bringing the total to 187 special funds, already with $1.4 billion excess balances, during the worst fiscal crisis in state history
  • Raising the oil barrel tax from $.05 to $1.05, guaranteeing increased cost for every item purchased in Hawaii
  • Institution of an estate “Death Tax” on out of state property owners
  • Increasing traffic abstract fees from $7 to $20, with proceeds going to the general fund, not for the process itself
  • Tax on shipping solid waste out of state, which impedes such actions
  • $.01 per cigarette tax. This falls on smokers, who are predominantly lower and middle class citizens, and so is one of our most regressive taxes
  • Regulations on the hours of use of private leaf blowers. Justification included health concerns about air quality and stress. But government leaf blowers are excluded, as they presumably don’t have those same public health effects.

The Ugly:

            No bills actually saved any money. An attempt to modernize the DHS registration efforts via computerized means, saving many $millions and improving service quality, was suppressed by a veto over-ride, and so guaranteeing that DHS would continue with its out-dated user-unfriendly expensive and non-computerized 20th century inefficiencies.

She also pointed out that the legislature understood the concept of sin taxes: when a tax was placed on a behavior, it would suppress that behavior, such as smoking.

However, they seemed incapable of understanding that the same principle applied to all taxes: such as raising income taxes would suppress the formation of income.

Ms. Story then suggested the Institute’s goals for the 2011 legislative session. Goals would need to appeal across party lines to be achievable. Likely targets were the imposition of required fiscal notes to analyze the costs of all spending bills, a full public audit of the Department of Education, and improved transparency and access to review of all government financial affairs, such as requiring the on-line timely publication of County check registers. She indicated the Institute was open to suggestions for additional ideas.

An informative Q&A period followed, during which it was suggested that every tax legislation be analyzed by the Council of Revenues for its financial result, and that they use “dynamic scoring” that would incorporate the real world “sin tax” mechanism that included taxes suppressing behavior.

Another suggestion was to require the legislature to eliminate 2 old laws for every new one that was passed.

50 copies of the 2010 Pork Report were distributed to the audience, including some present, former and aspiring elected officials.