HILO, Hawaii: J Yoshimoto has been chosen to be the new chair of the Hawaii County Council starting when the newly elected officials take office in December.
The decision was made after a customary closed door meeting among all the council members-elect.
This will not be Yoshimoto’s first time at the helm of the council. In 2008, he was sworn in as the new chair of the council, where he served out his term until 2010.
See the video from 2008: New County Council sworn into office
First time councilwoman-elect Karen Eoff was chosen to be Vice Chair.
The Hawaii County Council has also selected a new clerk for the coming year. Yoshimoto nominated Stewart Maeda, a 17-year veteran with the State Department of Human Services.
Council members will vote on Maeda’s nomination when they meet after being sworn in on December 3rd.
There will be newcomers heading many important committees, as well.
Newly elected Hamakua councilwoman, Valerie Poindexter, will chair the Finance Committee – considered the most powerful of all committees under the council.
Kona councilman-elect Dru Kanuha will head the Committee on Public Works and Parks and Recreation Committee, Eoff will head Human Services and Social Services, Margaret Wille will chair the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability, and Greggor Ilagan will chair the County Housing Agency.
Zendo Kern, the chairman of the Windward Planning Commission, will be chairing the Committee on Planning.
Among returning council members, Hilo councilman Dennis “Fresh” Onishi will chair the modified Governmental Relations and Economic Development Committee and Brenda Ford will head the Committee on Mass Transit and Public Safety.
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2010 sine die and swearing-in ceremony
Here’s a look at last the events two years ago, when outgoing councilmembers said their goodbyes in the morning Sine Die council session, and the incoming members were sworn at Hilo’s Afook-Chinen Civic Auditorium. Dominic Yagong became chair of the council, as the November 2010 election had established a new majority.