Governor abercrombie convenes first HISC meeting under his administrationPosted on Jun 27, 2011 in News
As a cabinet-level Council, the voting members of the HISC change under each gubernatorial administration. Under the Abercrombie administration, Governor Neil Abercrombie designated William J. Aila, Jr. (chair of the Department of Land and Natural Resources) and Russell Kokubun (chair of the Department of Agriculture) as co-chairs to the HISC. Aila and Kokubun replaced Laura Thielen (former DLNR chair) and Sandra Kunimoto (former HDOA chair), who had served as HISC co-chairs under the administration of Governor Linda Lingle.
Convening the first meeting of his interagency Invasive Species Council on June 27, 2011, Governor Abercrombie noted:
“This is, literally, the most important issue. In the competition for existence, choices have to be made, or they will be made for us. The fact that we have so many directors, leaders, and what you can bring to bear, I’m going to work with you to figure out a broad-based plan and then act on it. We must prevent invasive species and deal with the ones we have. I’ve seen the trees and ground stripped by deer and goats, it is just their nature, but we must do something to keep their populations in check. We must get more personnel for inspections. I’m going to create inspection facilities at airports and harbors.
My New Day Plan says what this administration wants to do with respect to invasive species. You can count on me for helping you move this forward.”
HISC members also include Gary Gill (Deputy Director for the Department of Health, designee for Director Fuddy), Ford Fuchigami (Deputy Director for Department of Transportation, designee for Director Okimoto), Jesse Souki (Director, Office of Planning within the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, designee for Director Lim), and Dr. Sylvia Yuen (Interim Dean of the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, designee for University of Hawai‘i president M.R.C. Greenwood).
The opening meeting of the HISC under the Abercrombie administration also included participants from related departments, including Keali‘i Lopez (Director, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs), Major General Darryl Wong (Adjutant General, Hawai‘i Department of Defense), and Alapaki Nahele-a (Director, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands).