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Susan Halas

Susan Halas is a Senior Political Contributor at MAUIWatch. She has followed Hawaii politics since 1976 when she moved to the Valley Isle. She was formerly a staff writer for the Maui News as well as other local print and digital publications.

G.E.T Committee approves Guzman nomination for Prosecuting Attorney

The nomination of Donald S. Guzman to head the Office of Prosecuting Attorney was approved today by a vote of 8 to 0 (with member Hokama excused) at a morning meeting of the Maui County Council’s Governance, Ethics and Transparency Committee (GET). The nomination will now move to the full council. Today’s sparsely attended meeting was a continuation of the …

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THEY’RE BACK: Kim, Spence & Goode Temporarily Teappointed, Again.

Less than three days after they were disapproved by the Maui County Council, Mayor Victorino has re-appointed David Goode, Will Spence and John Kim to be temporary acting interim directors of the departments they formerly headed until replacements to fill the top county jobs can be found. Victorino announced February 25th that he has appointed John Kim as temporary interim …

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Council Confirmations: IT’S NOT OVER ‘TIL IT’S OVER

What a long strange trip it’s been. The Maui County Council took the final vote on the Mayor’s Victorino’s 11 nominees to head county departments on Friday, February 22nd. The surprise finish saw Dave Goode, longtime head of Public Works ousted and two-term Corporation Counsel Patrick Wong confirmed once again. The vote proved that it’s not over until it’s over, …

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End of nominations: GET votes Approval for Goode; Disapproval for Spence

Goode: 5 Yes, 3 No, 1 Excused David Goode, Mayor Victorino’s nominee to continue as Director of Public Works passed the council’s Governance, Ethics and Transparency (GET) Committee on Feb. 7  by a vote of 5 to 3 with one excused. It is expected to go to the full council later this month. On a motion for approval voting YES …

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Wong goes down, McLean survives as County Council votes on Mayor’s nominees

Patrick Wong, acting Maui Corporation Counsel was rejected by the GET Committee of the Maui County Council by a vote of 5 to 4 (NO: Sinenci, King, Rawlins-Fernandez, Paltin, Kama; YES: Molina, Lee, Hokama, Sugimura). Wong, who served in the post for the last eight years during the Arakawa administration has a long been a controversial figure in county government. …

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Recapping the Mayor’s Department Head Nominees, Fireworks likely ahead for the last four

The review of Mayor Victorino’s nominees to head the different county departments has been a difficult and time consuming process. Public testimony and council discussion has been conducted since last month in the nine member council committee on Government, Ethics and Transparency (GET) chaired by councilmember Mike Molina. Their recommendations will be forwarded to the full council. The date for …

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Rawlins-Fernandez & Molina Snare Top Spots as Council Names Committee Chairs

Though attendance was sparse, it was quite a day at the Maui County Council’s January 11th meeting. Organizing of the legislative body continued as committee assignments were handed out for the council’s eight standing committees. Snaring the top spots were freshman Keani Rawlins-Fernandez who was selected to chair Economic Development & Budget Committee, while Mike Molina was picked to head …

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Kelly King Elected Chair as New Council Organizes

When the newly elected Maui County Council took their seats for the first time at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, January 2nd it elected Kelly King (South Maui) Chair, Keani Rawlins-Fernandez (Molokai) Vice Chair, and Tasha Kama (Kahului) Presiding Officer Pro Tempore. Each woman received a unanimous vote. It marked a changing of the guard for the legislative branch of county …

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Mayor-Elect Victorino Announces Appointments

Mayor-Elect Mike Victorino has announced twelve choices to key jobs in his upcoming administration. He takes office January 2. The soon-to-be mayor said he got over 300 applications for the top jobs and his selection committee worked diligently to make the recommendations. Victorino said about 90 percent of those recommended by the selection committee ended up being his picks. “I am …

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