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Simple-minded Solutions

Unfortunately, like the governor, The Maui News has decided (Today’s Editorial, June 3) to back a quick, anti-union, easy and pretty lazy and unimaginative solution to the state’s fiscal crisis by agreeing that I lose a significant amount of my salary and benefits earned over 34 years as a public servant, teaching at and creating an excellent community college for Maui. You get what you pay for citizens!

Granted, we need to balance the budget, live more within our means and do exactly as the Hawaii Constitution demands, but there are far more equitable ways to achieve that balance – ways totally ignored by those charged with maintaining the public safety, education and well-being of the citizens.

Offer early retirement. Agree to pay some or all of the substantial cuts suggested to employees once the state is stable. Agree to place employees back at their pre-crisis pay levels, as they did in California several times.

Such creative, positive and partnership approaches to solving a “statewide” crisis were not taken by the governor and her staff. What we see is a political, easy, union-busting approach that will negatively influence this state for years far longer than the economic crisis we face. Unfortunately, The Maui News fails as well as it supports such simple-minded solutions.

If treated with the respect due me for my public service, I would gladly face and accept a salary reduction, if in doing so I felt the state assured me some positive future prospects. As of now, I have been unfairly targeted, and irrespective of my responsibilities for the educational future of this community am a victim of simple-minded, uncreative leadership.

Vinnie Linares