County finance director resigns

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HILO — County Finance Director Collins Tomei has turned in his resignation. He’s the second department head to resign since Mayor Harry Kim took office in December.

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HILO — County Finance Director Collins Tomei has turned in his resignation. He’s the second department head to resign since Mayor Harry Kim took office in December.

Tomei, a former manager of the Hilo branch of Territorial Savings Bank, told the newspaper he appreciated the experience, but “I have to follow my heart.”

It was Tomei’s first foray into government employment. He was appointed by Kim.

“I have come to appreciate all of the hard work and wisdom that must go into properly managing the workings of county government,” Collins said in a letter to Kim dated Thursday. “I have also come to greatly appreciate how many of the critical decisions take intense soul searching and moral character.”

Tomei’s last day is Sept. 29.

Kim said he’s named Deputy Finance Director Deanna Sako as finance director. She faces what’s expected to be an easy confirmation by the County Council.

Sako previously served as finance director under former Mayor Billy Kenoi after then-director Nancy Crawford retired.

“I am honored that the mayor asked me to be finance director and that I can continue to serve our community,” Sako said.

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Kim’s having a more difficult time in his search for a director of the Department of Public Works after former Director Frank DeMarco resigned last month. Deputy Director Allan Simeon is fulfilling the duties while the search continues.

“I need a real manager for that department that’s also an engineer,” Kim said.

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