LIHUE — Kauai County Planning Department Deputy Director Kaaina Hull will take over as planning director starting next week. Hull will replace the department’s current director, Michael Dahilig, who is vacating the position Dec. 3, the same day Mayor-elect Derek Kawakami takes office.
Following an executive session during Monday’s Planning Commission meeting, the commissioners offered the position to Hull and confirmed his appointment in a unanimous vote.
Hull has been with the planning department for more than a decade. He spent over seven years as a planner with the county before being appointed deputy director three years ago.
Hull accepted the commission’s offer with a short speech, thanking the commission and saying he is “humbled and honored” by the appointment. He also praised Dahilig in his role as director.
“He basically accomplished 20 years of work in eight years,” Hull said of his former boss.
But Hull did not accept the appointment unconditionally. Before agreeing to take the job, Hull asked the commission to allow him to return to his position as planner with the county after his term as director ends.
“Some people may have an issue with that, quite honestly,” Hull told the commission but inisisted there is nothing unethical about the request. He said that job security was an important consideration for him when deciding whether to take the position and feared that a position with the county might no longer be available by the time he decides to step down as director.
“In 20 years, I still want to be a planner,” Hull said.
Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.