Arakawa Picks Ginoza ('02) to Lead Environmental Management


WAILUKU - Continuing to organize a Cabinet, Mayor-elect Alan Arakawa on Thursday announced the appointment of Kyle Ginoza ('02) to lead one of the county's largest departments, the Department of Environmental Management.

Ginoza, who currently works in the department as a Wastewater Division project engineer and construction manager, will replace Cheryl Okuma.

Ginoza's resume includes being a licensed engineer with bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of California at Los Angeles. Ginoza is also born and raised on Maui and lives here with his wife and two daughters.

Ginoza was the director of the county Department of Transportation, which oversees bus services, when the department was created in 2003.

Before joining the county, Ginoza was a project manager with the Wailuku planning firm of Munekiyo & Hiraga Inc. The firm specializes in helping clients to negotiate the bureaucracy of county government, particularly when they need help with environmental studies and land-use issues.

The Environmental Management Department oversees solid waste with residential garbage pickups and landfills, recycling and wastewater.

Among other issues, Ginoza will be tasked with working on Arakawa's campaign pledge to increase the use of treated recycled wastewater and improve its quality to reduce the county's reliance on injection wells and provide irrigation for large farming operations and golf courses.

"I am really looking forward to the challenges of being the director of the Department of Environmental Management," Ginoza said. "I will do everything possible to work with our hardworking staff, the Arakawa administration, County Council and community groups to implement the strategies that they have laid out and to take concrete steps to manage and protect our precious environment."

Ginoza will be faced with enforcing a ban on plastic bags for retailers. The ban goes into effect next month, although many stores, such as Longs Drugs, have already converted to recycled paper bags or are making available heavy-duty reusable grocery bags.

Former Department of Public Works Deputy Director Mike Miyamoto on Thursday became one of the few holdovers from the administration of Mayor Charmaine Tavares.

Miyamoto, formerly a civil engineer in the county Wastewater Reclamation Division, was named deputy director of the Environmental Management Department. He received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Lowell in Massachusetts.

Arakawa also picked Anthony Arakaki as coordinator of the county's federally funded Community Development Block Grant program. It manages the county's share of federal Department of Housing and Urban Development funding, which provides several million dollars annually to assist people with low to moderate incomes, often by providing suitable housing and job programs.

Arakaki lives in Kula and currently works for the state Department of Taxation as a tax returns examiner. Arakaki earlier managed and owned the Pauwela Cafe in Haiku. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and is pursuing an accounting degree from the University of Hawaii-West Oahu.

When Tavares cracked down on transient vacation rentals soon after she took office in 2007, Arakaki's personal struggle to keep his business afloat with the loss of most north shore travelers, particularly surfers, was a key part of a campaign by vacation rental and other tourism and business groups opposed to Tavares' move.

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