Letters | 5-20-14


Wille responds to bus criticism

I write in response to Elden Cochrane’s May 16 letter to West Hawaii Today. Mr. Cochrane expressed his dismay that the intra-Waikoloa shuttle bus is a 40-foot-long, 51-passenger monster motor coach.

For many months I have been working with the county’s Mass Transit Department to switch to a smaller passenger bus, as well as to add additional direct routes to the resorts and to Waimea. Mr. Cochrane, and the many other Waikoloa residents who have voiced similar concerns, will be glad to learn that the switch to a smaller bus (21-passenger) is scheduled to start on June 1. The revised bus schedule will also provide for new direct routes to the resorts and to Waimea. For example, there will now be direct bus service from the Waikoloa Village Market bus shelter at 5:52 a.m., arriving at the Marriot at 6:15, and then departing from the Marriot for Waikoloa at 3:15. There will also be an 8:15 a.m. bus leaving the Waikoloa Village Market bus shelter at 8:12, arriving in Waimea at 8:45, with a departure time from Waimea at 12:30 p.m. for a 1:05 p.m. arrival in Waikoloa. I am hopeful in the future we will be able to add a Saturday loop to Hapuna Beach and additional direct trips to the resorts.

Keep in mind that continuation of this intra-Waikoloa bus service is dependent upon maintaining a sufficient ridership. So those employed at the resorts with an early morning start time, should consider switching to using the bus to commute. And how about planning a weekly day trip to Waimea using this mini-bus service?

Margaret Wille

District 9 Councilwoman

Waimea

Homeowner’s exemption for deceased?

I have to comment on the May 16 article titled “County Checking for Unearned Property Tax Breaks.”

The most striking thing to me was the Finance Department’s insistence upon continuing the homeowner’s exemption on people who are no longer living. If the person is dead, they don’t qualify for an exemption. This is basic, it shouldn’t take a task force recommendation as mentioned in the article. The excuse that the Department of Health stopped sending the counties vital statistics in 2005 is absurd. Please realize obituaries continue to be published in the local papers.

The Real Property Tax Office has the capability of checking the name of the deceased against the property records. If the person is dead, the individual does not qualify for a homeowner’s exemption.

I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg with respect to the the administration of this department.

John Totten

Kailua-Kona