Kawakami names cabinet

LIHUE — Mayor-elect Derek Kawakami announced plans Thursday to replace a number of county government officials, including Managing Director Wallace Rezentes, who will now serve as deputy director of parks and recreation. His successor is former Planning Director Michael Dahilig.

The other newly appointed members of the mayor’s cabinet are Capital Improvement Projects Manager Wade Lord, Finance Director Reiko Matsuyama, Director of Parks and Recreation Patrick Porter and Director of Economic Development Robbie Melton.

Chief of Staff Sarah Blane will stay on in her role, along with Deputy Finance Director Michelle Lizama, Deputy County Engineer Lyle Tabata, Housing Director Kanani Fu, and Transportation Director Celia Mahikoa.

Kawakami also intends to replace County Attorney Mauna Kea Trask, nominating First Deputy County Attorney Matthew Bracken, subject to Kauai County Council confirmation.

Commission-appointed cabinet members include: Acting Director of Human Resources Janine Rapozo, Director of Liquor Control Gerald Rapozo, Director of Planning Ka‘aina Hull, Deputy Director of Planning Jodi Higuchi Sayegusa, Agency on Elderly Affairs Executive Kealoha Takahashi, Fire Chief Robert Westerman, Deputy Fire Chief Kilipaki Vaughan, Acting Chief of Police Michael Contrades, and Department of Water Manager and Chief Engineer Bryan Wienand.

The public is invited to the inauguration of the newly-elected mayor and county council members, scheduled 1 p.m. Monday at Kauai War Memorial Convention Hall.

Prior to the inaugural ceremony, the new county council, Arthur Brun, Mason K. Chock, Felicia Cowden, Luke A. Evslin, Ross Kagawa, Arryl Kaneshiro, and KipuKai Kuali‘i, will hold its first meeting at noon at the same venue in the large meeting room.

Additional parking for the ceremony will be available at Vidinha Stadium. A shuttle will run from the parking lot to the convention hall.

  1. Richard Stauber November 30, 2018 2:14 am Reply

    The following text was sent to the editor per emai:

    Dear Mr. Buley,
    in regards of this news article: https://www.thegardenisland.com/2018/11/30/hawaii-news/kawakami-names-cabinet/
    According to the Kauai County Charter: … the Department head names his/her Deputy not the Mayor.
    It is the duty of the Director of Parks and Recreation Patrick Porter to name the Deputy Wallace Rezentes. And not the Mayor.
    The article is misleading at least. And if the Mayor-elect Derek Kawakami did really appoint Wally R. then we have a violation of the County Charter.
    BTW. the same BS was going on with the Kusaka Administration decades ago. Their argument was… since the Mayor can not appoint the Department head, so they believed [wrongly] they could appoint the Deputy.
    Richard Stauber
    currently out of State, but watching close.

  2. MusicalChairs November 30, 2018 3:05 am Reply

    Oh how the musical chairs is a such a delightful event for those who invest in the game of thrones on the little ol island called the garden.

  3. I saw a Vampire once November 30, 2018 9:21 am Reply

    Some got called drop out of high school. Wally Rezentes. While some graduated college. Lyle Tabata, engineer. How come too chop suey? You sure everyone will get along?

  4. manongindashadow November 30, 2018 11:54 am Reply

    It will all workout. Just give them a chance! And if they don’t all get along, ” who will?”
    People are complainers and doubters, “why did you vote or did not vote?”

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