Hawai‘i County Council Committees Announced

November 26, 2018, 2:53 PM HST (Updated November 26, 2018, 2:53 PM)
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On Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, District 3 Councilmember Susan “Sue” Keohokapu Lee Loy introduced a package of resolutions proposing new council leadership and committee assignments, citing a thoughtful and cohesive blend of talents and skills to structure the county’s legislative body.

The appointments announced are provisional until approved by the new council.

Council members will be sworn in at noon on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, at the Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium in Hilo. Following this, the council will meet for the first time at 3 p.m. in the Hilo Council Chambers to vote on the organizational resolutions.

Both the inauguration and the council meeting are open to the public. State law requires the agenda to be posted six days prior to council meetings.

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Councilmember Aaron Chung is being nominated as the new chairperson of the 2018–2020 Hawai‘i County Council. Chung, who represents District 2, is the most experienced member of the county council, having served from 1996 to 2004 and from 2014 to the present.

“Our county faces challenging times and will benefit from Mr. Chung’s strong leadership and rich experience in public service,” Lee Loy said.

District 8 Councilmember Karen Eoff is asked to return as Vice Chair of the council, a position she held from 2012-2014 and again in 2016-2018. Eoff brings a wealth of institutional knowledge and geographic balance to council leadership.

The new council will also benefit from the steady guidance of Jon Henricks when it votes on his appointment as county clerk for a four-year term. Henricks has served as deputy county clerk since 2014. Henricks has selected Aaron Brown as deputy county clerk. Brown is currently the business manager for the Department of Public Works.

The resolutions that Lee Loy will introduce also names the chairs and co-chairs of seven standing committees. All nine members of the council are voting members of all committees.

“These realigned committee assignments are the result of many positive conversations with council members, community stakeholders and county leaders,” said Lee Loy. “We are building a broad-based islandwide coalition that blend the skills of our more seasoned council members with the talents from our innovative and inspiring freshman class.”

The proposed committee leadership assignments are:

  • Finance Committee – Chair Maile David; Vice Chair Herbert M. “Tim” Richards III, DVM
  • Planning Committee –  Chair Ashley Kierkiewicz; Vice Chair Sue Lee Loy
  • Parks and Recreation Committee – Chair Valerie Poindexter; Vice Chair Rebecca Villegas
  • Public Works and Mass Transit Committee – Chair Sue Lee Loy; Vice Chair Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder
  • Environmental Resiliency and Management Committee – Chair Herbert M. “Tim” Richards III, DVM; Vice Chair Matt Kaneali‘i-Kleinfelder
  • Public Safety Committee – Chair Rebecca Villegas; Vice Chair Karen Eoff
  • Governmental Relations and Economic Development Committee – Chair Ashley Kierkiewicz; Vice Chair Sue Lee Loy

Another resolution names Poindexter and Kierkiewicz as delegate and alternate, respectively, to the Executive Committee of the Hawai‘i State Association of Counties until June 30, 2019. After that time, Kierkiewicz would become the delegate and Villegas will be the alternate.

“These assignments are reflective of the diverse skills, talents and priorities of our island, and strives to balance both our rural and urban communities and their unique needs,” Lee Loy said. “They will provide greater context for effective communication and decision-making, with the ultimate goal of a better county government to serve our island community.”

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