Of all the Maui County Liquor Commissioners, Zachary Helm was closest to an actual celebrity. His own musical career fizzed decades ago, but his daughter Raiatea Helm earned a Best Hawaiian Album Grammy nomination in 2005 for her work Sweet & Lovely.
A Liquor Commissioner since 2003, Molokai resident Zachary Helm tendered his resignation at the Jan. 10, 2007 Commission hearing, a year before his term was up. His reason: Mayor Charmaine Tavares hired him as deputy director of the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation. Helm has worked for the county as the Parks & Rec Molokai District Supervisor since 1982.
“As a former director of the Parks and Recreation Department, I have had the opportunity to work first-hand with both Tamara [Horcajo, the new director] and Zach,” Tavares said in a Dec. 28, 2006 press release. “I know that they will work hard to improve facilities and recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike.”
And that’s not just political hot air, either—Raiatea Helm sang both The Star Spangled Banner and the Hawai`i Pono`i at Tavares’ rather extravagant Inaugural Ceremony at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center’s Castle Theater.
So no more LC Helm. Then again, Helm was one of the quieter commissioners, not really known to ask a lot of questions.
“This department needs him more than Parks and Recreation,” LC Director Franklyn Silva said after announcing Helm’s resignation. But then Silva pointed to a bright side: Helm could help out the LC while he’s at the Parks Department. “He’ll be very valuable at Parks for our purposes because he knows both sides of the street,” Silva said.