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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
September 2012 Letters to the Editor
By Letters to the Editor @ 5:33 AM :: 4775 Views

Cause? Any Cause -- Fire Greenwood, Regents

Testimony submitted to Senate Committee, September 24, 2012

Aloha Senators,

The underlying stench here is rising from under the U of H Board of Regents.

In not pursuing the fiduciary duties and responsibilities assigned the board, MRC Greenwood was not under a microscope at the time during which she was a candidate for the UH position she was hired into by the UH BOR.

Had the BOR performed what everyone likes to call "due diligence" whatever that means, it would have been easy for the members to ascertain that she had resigned immediately after her hands had been caught in the till of the University of California coffers where without conscious thought and no regard to the state of California nor the Taxpayers she doled out $871,000,000.00 to whom? Really?

Hiring friends, lovers, family and avid supporters riding her coattail of the gravy train, she is a heavy burden, a runaway overloaded, overbearing freight train looking for a station to plow into and devastate.

She can easily be terminated for cause, no cause, any cause. It needs, for the sake of Hawaii to be implemented, cause if she is simply fired or made to step down, she inherits a well payed tenured position and the sucks at the breast of the taxpayers for the rest of her life as a tenured, retired UH Professor and Manager.

Lets do the right thing, fire her for cause and fire the Board of Regents for cause

Frank McCafferty

Waimanalo, Oahu

* * * * *

Pensions: Getting Stuck With the Can that Got Kicked

Dear Editor: September 20, 2012

An issue that may be off your radar concerns the growing financial insolvency issue of public pension plans. Most citizens are not aware of the effects caused by the impact of immeasurable longevity of pension payments and the inconsistent funding by government entities to those pension plans. Citizens are also unaware of the long term financial impact of collective bargaining negotiations that granted ever increasing pension benefits under the threat of cessation of work by police, fire, sanitation, transit and other essential public services. In one sense, the collective bargaining rights of workers trumped the present and future financial solvency of these government entities. Currently, the city of Stockton, California is struggling through the bankruptcy courts to deal with the unfunded liability for their public employee pension plans. The City of Berkeley, California recently noted that a third of the city budget goes to fund the police and fire retirement plans. A quick check of Google will reveal that many other states, counties and cities that are only now stuck with the can that got kicked down their street by past elected officials who were forced to submit to union demands for better pensions.

A recent study found that 40% of small business owners (and their employees) have no retirement savings or pension plan in place. Having no axe to grind against public employee unions, I question the process whereby retirement benefits were granted under threat of strike. Any business owner would gladly create a pension plan for employees if, as the result of rising cost, was able to pass on this expense to the consumer as a regulatory (protected) mandate. Instead, any rise in prices slowly puts the company out of business.

The sad state of affairs is that public employees will enjoy their negotiated pension benefits (with cost of living increases for life) that will be funded by citizens who have no retirement fund or pension (except Social Security). Worse, public employees ALSO get Social Security. How many citizens would willingly fund their neighbor’s public pension benefit from whatever they managed to save and their Social Security?

What is the solution? Employees without an employer-sponsored retirement plan must resist the urge to abdicate their responsibility to prepare for their future. Public retirement benefits must provide a “reasonable” benefit and some of the financial risk borne by the pension fund must be shared by making adjustments to the employee’s retirement benefit. Creative revenue sources and taxing mechanisms must be found to increase the Social Security benefits of those not covered by employer mandated plans and to decrease the benefits for those who receive public pension benefits. In the end, either local government entities or the Federal government will be tasked with the “Great Retirement Bailout Program” to provide a living retirement to those less fortunate to have their own.

Peter Inoue

Honolulu, Oahu

* * * * *

Chinese Navy Deserves Payback

Dear Editor, September 4, 2012

Here we go again: About to give the keys to the city to the Chinese Navy for their visit today?

Doesn't anybody remember the refusal to let our aircraft carrier dock in Hong Kong a short while ago after hundreds of family members booked flights and hotels there to spend Christmas with their loved ones? There wasn't any rage expressed by our President, Military Officials or local officials but I didn't expect any from our top official who threw stones at the returning Vietnam veterans while carrying "Baby Killer" signs.

Harvey Wiegert,

Kailua, Oahu


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