Letters 2-11-14


If it’s more efficient, why is it more costly?

West Hawaii Today’s Jan. 29 front page lower right hand corner had an excellent heading, current concern, controversial subject, a yearly pain for all Hawaii Island drivers but lousy follow-up from the writer.

In her first paragraph, the writer clearly introduces the need for the new safety check system with its benefits and the downfalls. She tells about Mark Ferreira’s experience and frustration with the process, then lists the reason Jasmine Heen gives for why her safety check station follows a certain procedure. The writer confirms Heen’s story by talking to Bill Coon, who basically confirms what others have said about the new safety check process.

In the writer’s follow-up with Stan Imaino, motor vehicle control inspector on the Big Island, we learn that the process has become more efficient. Terrific. We also learned that everything is now electronic and instantaneous and that what used to “take three to four months to process now takes one day.” Wonderful, amazing. This is truly progress, I feel like jumping up and down.

The 82-year-old Harold Ferreira is quoted as saying “scrap the whole thing, it’s just a way for the state to make money.”

The article lists information from the Hawaii Department of Transportation website saying that the inspection fees have increased by $4.49 with $1.70 going to HDOT for “administration and enforcement of the program.”

This gets confusing. If the program is “more efficient” and “what used to take three to four months to process is now done in one day,” why is the process now more costly, requiring the additional $1.70? What are the people who worked processing those papers for three or four months now doing? It seems to me that with less people working on the process, it reduces the need for more “administration and enforcement of the program” and thereby reduces the cost but the opposite takes place.

Could it be that Harold Ferreira speaks with wisdom from experience? I sure wish that the reporter had taken Mr. Ferreira’s lead and asked more questions to clarify why a more efficient program involving less man hours by shrinking three to four months of work into one day would cost more.

Leningrad Elarionoff

Waimea