Voters delegate to their elected representatives the responsibility to effectively manage the administrative and financial affairs of the City. When that delegated authority is misused; it is time for a change.

Government authority comes directly from the people (voters). It is reasonable for the people, when conditions warrant, to exercise their authority to correct city government actions that go against the public interest. Government actions that drive people out of their homes, increase the cost of food, rent, medical services, and the basics to live in Honolulu, go against the public interest. During 2005 the City Council and the mayor have demonstrated that their ”’only”’ answer to city issues and services is to ”’raise taxes and fees.”’ These tax and fee increases should be subject to a review by the voters when it is clear that elected officials misuse their delegated authority to abuse the voter. To see a list of tax increases since 2003, go to: “Honolulu Tax Increases Approved Since 2003 file”

LET HONOLULU VOTE is a voter initiative to amend the City Charter so as to permit voters a voice by allowing alternative taxes and/or tax plans to be submitted for voter consideration during regular election ballots. LET HONOLULU VOTE wants the public to be given a choice rather than the “take it or leave it” decisions of the City Council and the Mayor. Public testimony at Council hearings is limited to one or three minutes; City decisions are influenced by lobbyists and special interests; the public taxpayer is viewed as a cash ATM that means government programs and wages never have to be reduced or efficiency encouraged.

It is time the public got a say in what goes on and what comes out of our pockets. LET HONOLULU VOTE is announcing on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2006, at noon in front of Honolulu Hale the start of a drive to recruit volunteers and raise funds. The drive will last two months and target 500 volunteer petition circulators and $100,000 in funds to pay for printing, advertising, t shirts, and legal costs.

LET HONOLULU VOTE urges all citizens to continue to circulate and sign the petitions currently out and to also volunteer for the big signature drive that will start on tax day — April 15 — with a push to finish collecting 70,000 signatures by July 15, 2006. Those wishing to participate and/or contribute should visit our Web site at http://www.LETHONOLULUVOTE.org

”’Paul E. Smith is the Co Chair of LET HONOLULU VOTE, and a member of the board of the Tax Foundation of Hawaii and Grassroot Institute of Hawaii. Reach him via email at:”’ mailto:lethonoluluvote@aol.com

”’Robert Kessler is the Co-Chair of LET HONOLULU VOTE. Reach him via email at”’ mailto:kessler.hawaii@verizon.net

”’HawaiiReporter.com reports the real news, and prints all editorials submitted, even if they do not represent the viewpoint of the editors, as long as they are written clearly. Send editorials to:”’ mailto:Malia@HawaiiReporter.com

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