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Ethics Board wrongheaded regarding Kelly King

I’m sure the county Ethics Board has good intentions, but I believe it’s wrongheaded of them to say that County Council Chairwoman Kelly King shouldn’t even talk to colleagues about the biofuel industry (The Maui News, Aug. 15).

She already declared her conflict of interest and declines to vote on such issues, but she’s an accomplished businesswoman who knows the industry intimately, and thus has a lot of information to offer. The free flow of such information benefits decision-makers.

The other council members are intelligent people who can be mindful of the fact that Ms. King has a considerable personal interest in a biofuel company and that she doesn’t get to vote on the issue. But it’s not good to try to muzzle people. Embrace the essence of free speech. By the way, I don’t know Kelly King. I met her once about 30 years ago — and thought she was a smart woman.

Dave Wagner

Kihei