(Ken Hupp - KPUA) Veteran Hilo council member J. Yoshimoto will chair the new County Council that takes office next month. Yoshimoto was selected during a closed door session on Sunday attended by most of the incumbent and incoming members who also tapped
North Kona councilwoman-elect Karen Eoff as Vice Chair. The new council will have six new members and Yoshimoto, who served as chairman from 2008-2010 told KPUA News he believes that bodes well for the coming term.
“I think the new council members, especially bring a lot of different ideas and positive energy to the council,” Yoshimoto said. “And I am very hopeful and optimistic that we are going to get a lot of positive things done over the next two years.”
Newcomers were named to head two high profile and powerful committees with Valerie Poindexter in charge of the Finance Committee and Zendo Kern chairing the Committee on Planning. Dru Kanuha will chair the Committee on Public Works, Eoff will head Human Services and Social Services, Margaret Wille will lead the Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability, and Greggor Ilagan will chair the County Housing Agency. Among returning council members Dennis “Fresh” Onishi will chair
The Intergovernmental Relations Committee and Brenda Ford will head the Committee on Mass Transit and Public Safety.
Yoshimoto also nominated Stewart Maeda, a 17-year veteran with the State Department of Human Services to serve as County Clerk. Council members will vote on his nomination, when they meet after being sworn in on December 3rd.