(BIVN) – The chair of the county board that sets salaries for local, elected officials is stepping down.
On November 27, Hugh Ono announced his resignation from the Hawaiʻi County Salary Commission during a meeting in Hilo.
“Today is my last meeting,” Ono told his fellow commissioners. “I will be resigning. This is for personal reasons.”
“I am in a situation which does not lend itself positively to being a member of this commission, so I will be resigning,” Ono said.
“No, I am not sick,” Ono joked. “Maybe some of you think I’m mentally ill, but I am – I seem to be of sound mind.”
According to the West Hawaiʻi Today, Ono has faced criticism, not only for leading the commission as it approved large pay raises for county officials last year, but also, as the newspaper reported:
…because he works for a company that benefits from county business. As lead engineer and vice president of the consulting group SSFM, Ono has a hand in no-bid six-digit consulting work from the county.
The issue of no-bid contracts has been discussed at the Hawaiʻi County Board of Ethics, mostly in general terms, in recent months.
After Ono’s announcement, Commissioner George Campbell was elected by the members to serve as the new chairman, with Tom Fratinardo as vice chairman.