Roy Takemoto appointed county managing director

KAILUA-KONA — Roy Takemoto has been selected managing director effective Dec.2.

He will go before the County Council for a confirmation hearing on Dec. 4.

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Takemoto, 65, has served as executive assistant to the mayor since 2016, and earlier was with Mayor Kim in 2000-2008, first as deputy planning director and then as executive assistant.

“Roy has been an indispensable member of my Cabinet, and I have complete confidence that he will serve admirably as managing director,” Mayor Harry Kim said in a press release. “I’m really grateful that he’s taking on this important job.”

Current managing director Wil Okabe is resigning effective Nov. 30.

Okabe’s resignation brings the executive turnover to half of the dozen top department heads that started Kim’s mayoral term with him in 2016.

The managing director serves as acting mayor whenever the mayor is off-island or unable to fulfill his duties. At $153,612 annually, the post commands the second-highest salary in county government, just behind the mayor.

According to the county charter, the managing director acts as mayor during the mayor’s absence and completes the term of the office if it becomes vacant after the filing deadline for the next primary election.

The managing director also supervises the administrative functioning of all agencies, departments, boards and commissions, recommends the annual operating and capital improvement budgets and monitors the management and performance of each executive agency.

Takemoto worked as a private planning consultant prior to 2000 and after 2008. He has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and environmental studies, a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, and a law degree from the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law.

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Takemoto was raised near Wahiawa on Oahu, and in 1991 he quit his job working for a hotel developer, married a Hilo girl and moved to Hilo to be among his wife’s and mother’s families. He has a grown son who lives in Washington state, where he is a software developer.

The mayor also announced that Maurice Messina, currently the deputy director of Parks and Recreation, will come on board as executive assistant to the mayor, effective Dec. 2. James Komata, currently serving as park planner, will be appointed deputy director of Parks and Recreation, effective Dec. 2.

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