Breakfast with Lingle
Over a buffet breakfast Governor Linda Lingle boasted to a packed Paddlers’ Inn about her administration’s accomplishments pertinent to Molokai and rallied the troops to join her “Strike Force” to rouse friends and family to the polls.
“We’ve had good new laws passed in the last year,” Lingle told the group of 100 on Saturday. “We pushed for $285 million in tax relief, but we were only able to get $50 million passed. Our goal is to remove tax on food and medical services,” she said as the crowd cheered.
The governor highlighted another new law allowing non-profit agencies to lease state land for one dollar a year if it is to be used for affordable housing. The government is able to weather these tax cuts and new social programs because her administration has seen a one-billion-dollar turnaround from deficit to surplus, she said.
“We’ve also put more people in Hawaiian homes in the last three and a half years than the ten before that.”
Lingle also spoke candidly about Molokai Properties Limited’s Community-Based Master Land Use Plan. “I have no interest in any specific development,” she said. For her there is more at stake. “We’ve never had control of the land before. This is an opportunity for future generations.”
She mentioned how OHA Trustee Collette Machado, who usually does not agree with the governor’s position, understands the value of the Plan. “If the land trust doesn’t go forward,” said Lingle, “Our children will look at us and say, ‘Why didn’t you do that?’”
As a former resident of Molokai for ten years, Lingle said the Plan will keep residents from leaving the island, and she truly believes that. “Molokai is never outside of my heart when I make decisions.”