LIHUE — Jade Fountain-Tanigawa was appointed Kauai County Clerk Wednesday.
Fountain-Tanigawa replaces former County Clerk Ricky Watanabe, who retired April 30 following more than 30 years of service to the county
“He was the first county clerk appointed following a rigorous and lengthy competitive process. Jade, who also applied for the position, finished second in that competition,” said Kauai Council Chair Mel Rapozo.
Rapozo said prior to the administering of the tests, the county clerk position was a political one, with the position being filled by whoever was in power.
JoAnn Yukimura said the support for Fountain-Tanigawa as the new county clerk was a testament to how well Watanabe ran the department, allowing her numerous occasions to fill the acting position to reinforce and strengthen her position.
“We’re also setting a new professional precedence for the County Council with this appointment,” Yukimura said. “This is a testimony to Ricky’s handling of the office, making this transition a smooth one.”
Yukimura said Fountain-Tanigawa’s appointment is also historic because she cannot remember a woman being the county clerk on Kauai.
Judge Randal Valenciano administered the oath of office to Fountain-Tanigawa.
In her first administrative function as the new county clerk, Fountain-Tanigawa selected Scott Sato to fill the deputy county clerk position, an office she held until being appointed as county clerk.