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Council to get update on mayoral transition

Hawaii County’s outgoing and incoming mayors are set to provide Hawaii County Council members with an update on transition plans this week.

Puna Councilman Matt Kanealii-Kleinfelder has requested representatives for the administrations of current Mayor Harry Kim and mayor-elect Mitch Roth to appear at 1 p.m. Tuesday before the Committee on Governmental Relations and Economic Development at the Hawaii County Building in Hilo.

The meeting comes less than a month before the Dec. 7 inauguration during which Roth will take the oath of office for a four-year term.

“We’ll get to meet the new administration and see a nice transition discussion happen, get to know the new players and also hit on some of the key items that are important to us in the transition,” said Kanealii-Kleinfelder, noting that the transition is already happening behind the scenes with this meeting providing the public a chance to be in the loop.

The one-hour discussion will get underway following public testimony. Though the meeting is closed to the public due to COVID-19, it will be live streamed on the county’s website for viewing.

All nine council members will get a chance to query both administrations on issues and projects important to their district.

“There’s going to be a lot of discussion especially about things that are being carried over from one administration to the next,” said Kanealii-Kleinfelder.

Attempts to reach Roth and Kim were unsuccessful as of press-time Friday. Kim’s secretary said Managing Director Roy Takemoto will attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Inauguration is set for Dec. 7 with plans being finalized for the virtual program to be simulcast from both Council Chambers in Kailua-Kona and Hilo.

Roth, Hawaii County’s current prosecutor, won the 2020 general election with 50,370 total votes to political newcomer Ikaika Marzo’s 35,887, giving him 58.4% of the vote.

Kim served eight years as mayor before sitting out eight years, and then won a new four-year term in 2016.

A full agenda for the committee meeting, including information on ways to testify, can be found at the county’s website at
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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