The Lingle Factor

The Molokai Dispatch Point of View

 

Currently sitting in her second term as Governor, former Molokai resident, Linda Lingle has been lacking when it comes to consistency in her statements concerning land use issues. However, despite conflicting statements, one statement has been clear: her support of the development of La’au Point.

When she visited the Island in August of last year, Lingle had attested that the, “Molokai Properties Limited (MPL) Community Based Master Land Use Plan is not about La`au, but about the survival of Molokai as an economically viable island.”

Yet, this statement is particularly interesting considering that in her December inauguration speech the newly re-elected Governor was quoted as saying, “continuing to base our economy and our future on land development is foolhardy because land is finite, and because land development often causes deep rifts in our island community, a community that depends so heavily on harmony among our people.”

She goes on in her speech to say that land, “…is the very core of the Native Hawaiian people, who will not survive separated from this land…..We will never catch today’s global economic waves by developing land.”

Lingle has also responded to private citizens of Molokai who express concern over the proposed developments by stating that the decision should be left to the people. Perhaps this is due to the fact that she believes it is only a vocal minority speaking out against the development, while a silent majority has been reluctant to voice their opinions. 

Regardless, why is Lingle supporting a plan which is contrary to her vision for the future of Hawaii?

Finally, like her support for the Superferry, Lingle is backing MPL’s big-business venture without first exploring the project’s potential social, cultural, or environmental impacts. Sadly, the first of these impacts is already dreadfully apparent: Molokai, normally known as the Friendly Isle, is divided and conflicted by issues surrounding the proposed development of La`au Point.

Did we mention that Governor Lingle hand selected nine of the nine Land Use Commissioners who are about to decide whether to accept MPL’s plans?

In supporting MPL’s controversial plan, Lingle has not only contradicted her own vision for the future of the state, she has also leapfrogged the natural process of the law. How are we to follow this sort of leadership?

 

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