Broken Promises by the Legislature

By: Trustee Rowena Akana

Source: Letter to the Editor, Honolulu Advertiser, February 23, 2010

From the Territorial Government to the present, politicians have consistently overspent.  This forces them to come up with “creative” ideas to supplement their shortfalls when the economy eventually sours. 

They wouldn’t have to look far if they simply managed ceded lands properly.  Thousands of acres have been leased by politicians to their friends for as little as a dollar a year.  A previous Governor even suspended landing fees at the airport, which sits on ceded lands, for two years to allow airlines to bring in more tourists.  We all know that didn’t happen.  It was just another sweetheart deal.

There is no question the state has mismanaged ceded lands.  However, this rationale should not be used as an excuse to sell such a precious resource.  A year ago, legislators voted to preserve ceded lands.  Now they’re trying to sell them.  How can we trust these people?

We need leaders who can balance budgets.  Then they wouldn’t have to raise taxes, legalize gambling or sell ceded lands.  This election year, let’s vote for people who will make the tough decisions needed to revitalize our economy.  We definitely do not need more creative ways to tax us or squander our resources.