Clerk steps down to be planner

LIHU‘E — Long-time County Clerk Peter Nakamura will be leaving the legislative branch Monday to fill a senior planner position in Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.’s administration, county officials announced in a news release Saturday.

Nakamura was planning director for the county from 1990 to 1992 and has over a decade of experience in planning-related positions, the release states.

Appointed county clerk in 1999, last year he was the highest paid county employee with an annual salary of $114,848.

In December 2010, newly elected Kaua‘i County Council members aired concerns over Nakamura accepting a pay raise and $50,000 in unused vacation time apparently against county policy. However, Tim Bynum and JoAnn Yukimura were the only two council members to vote against Nakamura’s reappointment.

Council Chair Jay Furfaro said at the time that due process was followed and Nakamura’s pay raise was appropriately approved by the appointing authority.

“It has been an honor to serve the legislative branch for the past 12 years, but I felt it was time to return to my longstanding interest in planning,” Nakamura said in the release Saturday.

In the interim, overall management of the Office of the County Clerk will be assumed by Council Services Administrator Rick Watanabe until Nakamura’s replacement is named.

The release did not elaborate on why Nakamura was changing positions in the county. He could not be reached Saturday afternoon for comment.

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