Maui Public Works Director Applicants Sought
Maui County Council Chair Kelly King is seeking clarification on a legal opinion on the mayor’s move to name three individuals as interim department heads, after they were rejected by the council on Friday. King said she is surprised that the mayor decided to have three disapproved nominees continue in office.
Mayor Victorino invoked a temporary appointment provision as he moves forward with interviews and efforts to fill positions. He plans to name a new Prosecuting Attorney by March 1, and a Director of Housing and Human Concerns by March 17, 2019.
For different reasons, Victorino said, the deputy directors of those departments have not stepped into the director positions. For example, the deputy director for the Department of Housing and Human Concerns will be off island starting today.
He is also currently accepting applications for the director of Public Works. The position was offered to Deputy Director Rowena Dagdag-Andaya, who declined, for now, saying she thinks the best person for the job, David Goode (who was the Mayor’s appointee), had already applied.
“The confirmation process has hurt the morale of our department,” Dagdag-Andaya said. “I along with much of our staff were very disappointed with the outcome last Friday. I’m unsure who would submit to a new round of scrutiny.
“Whoever is going to be director has some very big shoes to fill, and it will be challenging for that person to get up to speed with issues and establishing rapport with the staff. But we’re all very open to working with the new director,” she said.
Applications with cover letters and resumes may be submitted to the Office of the Mayor; Attention: Chief of Staff Deidre Tegarden; 200 S. High St., Kalana O Maui Building 9th floor; Wailuku, HI 96793. Applications also may be sent via email to [email protected]
“Our residents expect potholes to be filled, housing opportunities sought out and defendants prosecuted under the law,” Mayor Victorino said. “My duty is to ensure all our county departments are operating efficiently to serve the people of Maui County.”
“We have one provision of the Maui County Charter — Article 6, Section 6-2(4) – that says the mayor has the authority to appoint an administrative head of a department on a temporary basis. Another section allows holdovers of department heads; and another says an appointee can’t continue in office after denial. This is not exploiting a loophole in the County Charter or an end-run of the County Council’s decision. It’s a temporary appointment to ensure ongoing quality public services.
Mayor Victorino suggested that a charter amendment may be needed to clear up ambiguities in the process.
“I reassure residents that my decisions are always made in the best interests of our people,” Mayor Victorino said.