Jeffrey Pearson, an engineer and water official with the County of Maui, got a big boost to his resume last week when Governor David Ige announced that he’d soon take over as deputy to the chairperson of the state Commission on Water Resource Management as well as chief executive officer to the Commission.
“Jeff Pearson is an experienced engineer and water system manager,” said Ige in a July 7 news release from his office. “He has the skills and experience needed to administer and implement the state’s water code and work with the Commission and various stakeholders to address the issues our state faces.”
Given that Ige is himself a former engineer, Pearson’s appointment isn’t a huge surprise. For a professional engineer on Maui, Pearson’s credentials are legit: former water manager for the Maui Land & Pineapple Co. and former County of Maui Department of Water Supply Deputy Director. He’s also previously worked with Norman Saito Engineering, Sato & Associates and Brown and Caldwell.
But Pearson is also very different from his predecessor, William Tam. An attorney appointed back in 2010 by then-Governor Neil Abercrombie, Tam was very popular with local environmentalists (he even helped write the state’s water code in the 1980s, according to this April 23, 2015 story in Honolulu Civil Beat).
Of course, a majority of the state Water Commission still has to vote on Pearson, and that is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 15.
Photo courtesy State of Hawaii