Rooted in Reason: Nurturing the Seeds of Liberty

Mistakes are OK, Especially if Paid for by Other People’s Money by grassroothawaii
July 6, 2010, 10:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Kyle Shiroma

The City and County of Honolulu was fined $1.7 million last week for dumping concrete slabs into the Mailiili stream.  The Department of Health issued the fine for the illegal dumping of 257 truckloads of concrete from February 2008 to May 2009, and taxpayer dollars could be the source of paying this fine.

In addition to the new taxes that came with the month of July, this $1.7 million fine is the last thing the taxpayers of Honolulu want to hear.  The City and County will now have to spend extra money in order to clean up the concrete, but only after an environmental assessment has been finished.  This is not only an expensive mistake on behalf of the City and County, but it is also a display of the intra-government miscommunication that often plagues projects.  The 2010 Hawaii Pork Report revealed how taxpayers ended up paying 46% more for the construction of the Halawa Stream Bridge due to the State Department of Transportation adding girders, side railings and pavement transitions to the project which prolonged construction and increased the projected cost to $10.5 million. This fine is just another example of taxpayer money being used to pay for the government’s faults.  If the government improved its communication with all members of a project, there would be less mistakes and therefore less taxpayer dollars spent on fixing errors.  Environmentalist Carroll Cox expressed his unhappiness with the use of taxpayer money to pay the fine, but said, “There’s a good thing happening here… It’s (the problem) finally being taken serious.”  Great to see that the City and County is finally looking into an illegal dumping that’s over a year past, but how about assessing issues that are happening currently?

Two such issues that need to be addressed by the government are its efficiency and communication.  If these two areas can be improved, it will save taxpayer money as well as decrease miscommunication problems.  The taxpayers of Honolulu deserve a more efficient government, as we are one of the highest taxed states in the nation


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