Kukui‘ula project redux(garden Island Newspaper)
Other potential "hostage" projects
more here:More potential "hostage" projects
My Take is here:
Well, the council gave Kuku'iula project the green light to go from a 90 year by back to a 25 year by back. Although the reasons are masterfully convoluted and brilliantly confusing as they are meant to be, and the average human cannot even begin to comprehend the rollercoaster ride of rates and incomes, and means and the market, even the council I suspect, the original bargainer is not buying it.
Joanne Yukimura, slightly a bit tarnished in my eyes due to the whole TVR issue, has gotten herself back into my good graces. We have had many discussions about housing, and she is a member of my Kaua'i Fair Housing Law Coalition. It was Joann who helped to set conditions for Kukuiula in the first place. What she has always tried to make me understand, is that we really do need all types of housing on the island at all income brackets. I will say that Joann has helped me to understand the intricacies of how that all works and makes things better for everyone.
When you are on the very bottom of the economic scale like I am, it is hard sometimes to comprehend these concepts. But Joann at least was able to shed some light on this issue for me.
That is why when I testified on this issue as late, many times representing the Coalition I have been hesitant to say no to it. Why, do you ask?
For a very simple reason. Paanau Village expansion project lies in Kukuiulas hands. If I want the low income housing finished for Kauai's neediest residents, then I can't go around jumping down their throats for anything. If I want the people to get a better living wage and nicer looking housing, I can't rock the boat. Even when the boat is questionable and has leaks in it.
Now, is this right or ethical? Have I sold out? Nope. This is politics. Plain and simple. This isn't about housing. However, for me, some players involved in Kukuiula are Friends. Would they lie to me? Well, that's up for debate. Do I have to see a conspiracy theory in everything? Contrary to popular belief, no. DO I completely understand this whole buy back option exception? Nope. But I do understand that if they are going to complete Paanau expansion, they need, in their minds to get a break somewhere in the original conditions and this is the break they want, otherwise funding for Paanau may not happen.
So what do I do? I trust Kukuiula? Not exactly. I watch, wait, see what happens. They have told me that they are ready to start hiring people. Good. I will wait, watch and see what happens. DO any of us really know how this whole buy back thing will play out? Nope, not even Kukuiula, I suspect. Do I completely understand the need to provide housing for well paid managers? Yes, and I will tell you why.
It just goes to prove that we have a housing crisis here, where even middle management needs affordable housing. that says a lot to me. Do I agree with Joann's opinions on this? One hundred percent. DO I agree with Kukuiula? I have too. They hold the keys to the doors of Paanau. Does that put me between a rock and a hardplace? Absolutely. I have already stated my opinions that I want the housing to stay in the hands of the people that need it most. That I do not like the 90 year exemption down to 25 years. However do I have a choice, and put Paanau Low Income housing in jeopardy? No choice there.
But what I am hoping for is that every one will watch this situation carefully, and a new council can go ahead and redux this again, and try to get back some of the ground that was lost on this issue. But that would require a mandate of the people to get into the voting booth and vote in some new blood that could tackle the double speak and confusing jargon, get it into simple speak for the rest of us, and make sure that developers cannot hold housing for housing hostages again.
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