By Wendy Osher
The council’s Policy Committee today unanimously agreed to forward recommendations seeking to approve John D. Kim as the county’s Prosecuting Attorney, and Dave Taylor as the Director of the Maui Department of Water Supply. The recommendations now advance to the full council for further consideration. Both appointments, made by Mayor Alan Arakawa, are subject to council confirmation.
Maui Prosecuting Attorney nominee Kim receives committee confirmation:
John D. Kim, who served 17 years as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for Maui, and 7 years as Deputy Corporation Counsel, was nominated to the Prosecuting Attorney post in December.
“I’ve heard from people within the department that the teamwork, the camaraderie, the fellowship, as well as his ability to manage people has been bar-none, and really refreshing,” said Council Member Michael Victorino of Kim’s nomination.
“The interesting part for me was that even people who are natural enemies–they are set up to be opponents–were here to speak in support of Mr. Kim,” said Council Member Gladys Baisa.
Fellow Council Member Joseph Pontanilla agreed saying, “It’s so refreshing to see people from the Public Defender’s office come here and speak highly of Mr. Kim.”
Meantime, Committee Chair Riki Hokama said it’s his intention that Mr. Kim will know that there are times when you need to prosecute and not settle. “To those that are the adversarial side of the judicial process, do not take settlement as a sign of weakness from this County, because this County will ensure that we provide safety and protection for our citizens to the utmost through the office of the Prosecuting Attorney,” said Hokama.
“It is my hope that crime will always go down, but let’s be realistic–that’s not always the world that we live in,” said Victorino. “I think Mr. Kim along with his Deputy, Mr. Rivera, will take our Prosecuting Attorney’s office to another level which we sorely need.”
Department of Water Supply nominee Taylor receives committee confirmation:
Members of the Council’s Policy Committee today also recommended confirmation of Dave Taylor as the Director of the Maui Department of Water Supply.
Upcountry Council Member Gladys Baisa voiced support for Taylor saying, “Of course water being this great challenge particularly in the region that I represent, I’m very happy because I kind-of have a feeling of hope–and that feeling is that he (Taylor) will be creative, that he’ll try to find answers,” said Baisa.
Water Resources Committee Chair Michael Victorino said, “I think it now becomes our political will–both the council and the administration–to make some of these things become a reality.” But he forewarned the public that it will result in some expense saying, “There is no subsidy out there. The feds are not going to be giving money, and the state revolving fund-whatever is in there-is going to be taxed to the max.”
Victorino said he looks forward, “to getting real solutions out there with our political will and making sure that the people of Maui County understand what they’re getting into, what it’s going to cost them, and how it’s going to come to fruition.
Council members Carroll, Pontanilla, Mateo, White and Cochran were unified in expressing gratitude for “straight forward answers” from the applicant.
“In my opinion, some of the former not only directors, but mayors, did have good plans, but because of political will, I guess, some of those plans weren’t carried out,” said Pontanilla.
“There is no quick fix as Mr. Taylor has indicated, but at least there is an encouragement that we will make a good attempt at trying to address the issues we need to address,” said Mateo.