Acting County Engineer Ian Costa has been assigned Ha’ena-to-Hanalei, and Vida Mossman, head of the new county Department of Community Response and Development, along with Mary Alvarez, have been assigned to Kekaha, by Mayor Bryan Baptiste.
Baptiste earlier said there are 22 communities on the island, and under his administration one of his appointees or other county employees would be assigned to be that community’s liaison.
Beginning next year, the liaisons will be responsible for holding regular meetings in their appointed communities, which happen in most cases to be where they live.
Some communities, like Princeville, ‘Oma’o and Lawa’i, don’t have people assigned yet, said Mossman, who is also acting county public information officer. Larger communities have been assigned more than one liaison.
Those others named as community liaisons are Administrative Assistant Gary Heu, Kilauea; Cathy Simao, Anahola; Bernard Carvalho, director of the county Offices of Community Assistance, along with First Deputy County Attorney Amy Esaki and Soncy Tamashiro, Kapahi; Liana Soong, Kapa’a; County Attorney Lani Nakazawa, Wailua Houselots; Kaui Tanaka, Deputy Planning Director Sheilah Miyake and Deputy County Attorney Margaret Hanson, Wailua Homesteads; and Eddie Sarita, convention hall manager, and Laurie Kelekoma, Hanama’ulu.
Lihu’e has been divided up into two geographic areas, with Shelly Teraoka, Department of Water Manager Ernie Lau and Kauai Police Department Chief George Freitas in one area, and Finance Director Mike Tresler assigned to another portion of Lihu’e.
Deputy County Attorney Laurel Loo and Civil Defense Administrator Mark Marshall have been assigned to Puhi, and Christine Pilkington to Koloa. Julie Souza has been assigned to Po’ipu, and Kauai Fire Department Chief Charlie Hiramoto has been assigned Kalaheo.
New Deputy County Attorney Ladye Martin has been assigned to ‘Ele’ele, and Liquor Control Commission executive Eric Honma has been assigned to Hanapepe. Personnel Director Malcolm Fernandez has drawn Kaumakani, and Deputy Police Chief Willy Ihu and Planning Director Dee Crowell are assigned to Waimea.
During and after the mayoral campaign, Baptiste pledged to make county government more responsive to the individuals and communities it serves. The community liaisons represent part of his plan to listen to his constituents.