Outgoing director admits department is in a constant state of flux
Hilo, Hawaii – Video by David Corrigan
Environmental Management Director Lono Tyson admitted that balancing cost and demand has left his department in a constant state of flux during a budget presentation on Wednesday.
Tyson told the Hawaii County Council Finance Committee that although the budget does not raise fees for any of the services provided by his department, the Integrated Solid Waste Management Plan that will be presented to the council next week will explore those possibilities.
Tasked with the operation and maintenance of Hawaii County’s waste disposal, landfills, and sewer systems, Tyson’s department has its work cut out for it, especially in times of budgetary crisis.
Over the course of the last year, the county has instituted and retracted a number of changes in waste disposal policy, especially in the transfer station hours. Another instance of damage control occurred when local media reported on a possible “pay as you throw” trash fee that was being considered under the new waste plan. The mayor quickly rushed in to assure the public, who was already up in arms at the feared cost increase, that the fees were not being instituted.
Tyson has long represented that in order to continue to provide the level of service that the island residents expect from his department, costs would need to be sustained, either through added fees or even – as he suggests in this video – new taxes.
Tyson tendered his resignation last month. A media release issued by the county said that Tyson was moving back to Australia with his wife in order to be closer to his family. Tyson’s resignation will be effective June 30, 2010.