11:40 am | Senate Order of the Day
HOLOLULU, Hawaii: Some bills of interest to Hawaii County:
SB2989: Campaign Spending; Hawaii County Council Public Funding Pilot Program
Amends public funding pilot project for Hawaii county council elections to repeal the requirement of a minimum fund amount; extend the period for signature collection; clarify provision for matching funds; and clarify that the formula to determine the amount of funds given to a publicly funded candidate is based on the prior two general elections held for the county council seat in that district.
SB3003: Geothermal Resources; Exploration; Subzones
Differentiates between “geothermal resources exploration” and “geothermal resources development” for purposes of mining leases and exploration permits. Designates “geothermal resources exploration” and “geothermal resources development” as permitted uses in all state land use districts and conservation district zones. Repeals geothermal resource subzone provisions under state land use law. Exempts geothermal resources exploration from environmental assessment and environmental impact statement requirement.
SB3016: Public Lands; Kulani Correctional Facility
Requires the Department of Public Safety to plan for a model wellness center that employs native Hawaiian cultural practices on state land and to submit a report to the legislature prior to the 2013 legislative session.
SB3037: Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems
Transfers the Pacific international space center for exploration systems from the University of Hawaii to DBEDT’s office of aerospace development. Establishes a PISCES board of directors.
9:55 a.m. | Okamoto Confirmed as Dept. of Water Supply Deputy Manager
HILO, Hawaii: The County of Hawai‘i Water Board unanimously confirmed Keith Okamoto as the Deputy Manager of the Department of Water Supply at their monthly meeting yesterday.
In a letter addressed to the Water Board, newly selected Manager – Chief Engineer Quirino Antonio detailed the many reasons for his selection of Okamoto as his Deputy. In his letter, Antonio wrote about Okamoto’s beginning at the Department in 1996 as a licensed civil engineer in the Water Resources and Planning Branch of the Engineering Division. Then, in 2000, Okamoto was promoted to the supervisor of the Water Quality Assurance and Control Branch in the Engineering Division. The main task of this Branch is to insure the Department remains compliant with the numerous rules related to the Safe Drinking Water Act. In this capacity, Okamoto represented the Department as liaison with the State of Hawai‘i regulating authority, the Safe Drinking Water Branch of the Department of Health.
From there, Okamoto was promoted to Assistant Engineering Division Head in 2003. In this role, Okamoto assisted the Engineering Division Head in all duties of the position, including budget and personnel needs. He was also specifically assigned to oversee the status of the Department’s CIP projects as well as professional services procurement.
Throughout the various capacities in which he has served at the Department, Okamoto has developed in-depth understanding and knowledge of the potable drinking water industry, applicable Federal and State laws, County codes and ordinances, Departmental rules and regulations, and various policies.
After yesterday’s confirmation, Manager – Chief Engineer Antonio offered the following congratulatory remark, “I feel very confident that we complement each other well and will make a great team in moving the Department in a positive direction.”
Originally from O‘ahu, Okamoto has lived on Hawai‘i Island for 15 years.
(Source: Hawaii County)