Looks like the special Maui County Liquor Commission subcommittee tasked with crafting a selection process to find a new Liquor Control (LC) Director has been busy. And in contrast to the Liquor Commission’s secret October machinations that led to the double-crowning of Commissioner Dana “son of former LC Director Joe” Souza (up-ended only by Souza’s surprising and never-explained decision to decline the position, made just days before he was to assume office), the selection committee’s work is being documented in public records.
The committee is made up of Liquor Commissioners William Kennison (the ILWU’s Maui Division Director, who acts as committee chairperson), Roy Umeno (an insurance agent) and Frank Sylva (a retired postal worker, not to be confused with former LC Director Frank Silva). They first met Nov. 17 at the Corporation Counsel’s office, according to a Nov. 20 report to the greater Liquor Commission.
At the meeting, they apparently learned how the search for a director should go. In fact, according to the report, “At the request of First Deputy [Corporation Counsel Ed] Kushi, Deputy [Corporation Counsel Jeffrey] Ueoka briefed and summarized his experience in assisting the Maui Police Commission in its recent (2014) selection process of the new Police Chief.”
Imagine that–rather than just once again pick one of their own in a secret executive session, they’re actually falling back on precedent (something we actually suggested they do back in this Oct. 16 story). Anyway, the committee also reviewed a draft job recruitment notice and application form, both provided to it by Corporation Counsel Ed Kushi. And they “discussed possible future assignments, tasks or duties that may be delegated to this Committee [like] preparing suggested interview questions [and] reviewing all applications, and submitting a ‘final’ list of candidates to the Commission.”
Publishing the job recruitment notice in Hawaii papers suggests that (gasp!) people from outside the LC itself might actually apply for the job. Why they would wish to do so is beyond me, but hey–stranger things have happened.
As for a timeline, the committee suggested running the recruitment notice in The Maui News and Honolulu Star-Advertiser (both considered to be papers of record) “on or before December 18, 2015” and setting an application deadline of Jan. 22, 2016. If that’s the timetable the Liquor Commission agrees upon, then LC Deputy Director Traci Fujita Villarosa will almost certainly be a candidate (when I asked her about her plans after Souza bailed on the job, she declined to comment). One of the few requirements for the Director job is five years experience in law enforcement, and Fujita Villarosa (a former Corporation Counsel attorney) won’t achieve that until Dec. 31 of this year.
In any case, the full Liquor Commission will discuss and act on the report at its Dec. 9 meeting.