Big Island, Big Body - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

September 20, 2010

Big Island, Big Body

While on the Big Island two weeks ago, I was intrigued to read a well-done analysis in the West Hawaii Today newspaper about the apparent fractious nature of the Hawaii County Council. Sometimes, the rift on the Big Island between east and west prevents politicians from seeing the island as a whole, as individual council members look out only for their own particular district.

With fiscal crises a reality on all islands, it seems that rifts and provincialism are now more apparent than usual. But I learned that not just in Oahu's City Council are there constant reorganizations and power struggles. It apparently happens with regularity on at least one other island, too. And the Council on the Big Island definitely has had its moments of disagreement with the mayor, as well as each other, according to the newspaper report. Sometimes you have to wonder if elected officials look out for our interests as a city or state. Well, according to the West Hawaii Today's story and commentary, some Big Island Council members just can't see beyond their own districts, choosing to view issues with tunnel vision as they represent only their immediate employers- their district voters.

The point of all this is that sometimes in our Oahu-centric world we forget that the other islands struggle with decisions and unity and politics and positioning, just like we see year after year right here in our legislature and Honolulu City Council. So while we celebrate the differences and the unique characteristics of each individual land mass of this great state, sometimes we get reminded that we are really more alike than we might necessarily think, especially when it comes to the body politic. Think about it...

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