Kaua'i mayor fills most Cabinet positions
By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau
LIHU'E, Kaua'i Mayor Bryan Baptiste has filled most of his Cabinet positions and is reorganizing a couple of them as he enters his first term heading county government on Kaua'i.
His administrative assistant, Gary Heu, will hold that position while also heading the Office of Economic Development. The economic development post previously had a separate administrator. Heu is the former island manager for Verizon Hawai'i.
Under a plan that will require approval of the County Council, Baptiste proposes to replace the county's public information officer post with a position called director of community response. Baptiste has named Vida Mossman, formerly the public information officer at the Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, to hold the position.
She would head a staff of three people termed liaisons, who are assigned to the North Shore, West Kaua'i and the central Kaua'i area to provide quicker administration response to local concerns.
Baptiste has been unable to fill the county engineer's office, and will keep former Mayor Maryanne Kusaka appointee Ian Costa in as deputy county engineer, where he will serve as acting administrator of the Department of Public Works. Costa, an architect, cannot take the top spot, since by charter it must be filled by an engineer.
Baptiste named Lani Nakazawa county attorney. She is a former researcher of the Public Utilities Commission and most recently was health branch administrator for the Hawai'i Insurance Division of the state Department of Commerce and Community Affairs.
Bernard Carvalho, who has been developing recreation programs in the county Division of Parks and Recreation, will run the county Offices of Community Assistance, an agency established under Kusaka to include the county bus service, elderly affairs office and housing agency.
Michael Tresler, former finance director for the American Heart Association on O'ahu, has been named county director of finance. The new fire chief, Charles Hiramoto, was previously a captain in the Fire Department's Koloa station.
Several departments will see no change in administration, because the bosses there are selected by the commissions that oversee the departments, rather than by the mayor.
They include police chief George Freitas, planning director Dee Crowell, Water Department manager Ernest Lau, personnel director Malcolm Fernandez and liquor control administrator Eric Honma. Civil Defense chief Mark Marshall's job is a civil service position, not subject to appointment by the mayor.
Reach Jan TenBruggencate at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 245-3074.
Correction: Kaua'i's police chief is George Freitas. His name was incorrect in a previous version of this story.