It has been suggested by some that our "system is broken," and at the same time these same individuals urge readers to vote in the elections in November. I must respectfully disagree with the contention that our system is broken. The system was designed so that verified Maui registered voters could take action and get an initiative on the ballot. A total of 9,000 signatures out of 19,000 submitted for SHAKA Movement's initiative were verified--10,000 were either duplicates, not Maui voters, were illegible or no such address existed.
There are many questions about the initiative, and they deserve a thorough airing in the public arena and in this case that is in the voting booth. What may be broken is not the system but the way in which those who disagree with others let their impatience and passion substitute for civil dialogue on the issues and engage in name-calling, finger pointing and innuendo.
I do not support the Maui County farming ban proposed by SHAKA. After researching the information available, I urge a no vote. I am concerned that we are looking at significant job losses and a serious hit to our economy, which is just now beginning to slowly pull itself out of the recession. On Molokai, the effects of the initiative would be especially devastating. State Economist Eugene Tian has estimated that unemployment on Molokai could triple if the initiative passes.