Caldwell accepting applications for city cabinet

Published On: Nov 16 2012 07:06:09 PM HST   Updated On: Nov 19 2012 08:54:58 AM HST

The process of establishing a new city administration has begun for Mayor-elect Kirk Caldwell.

Caldwell issued an email blast Friday announcing his Transition Committee had begun accepting applications for the positions of director and deputy director at 21 city departments.  A Dec. 7 deadline has been set for those who are interested to turn in their applications.

According to former Mayor Mufi Hannemann, public perception that political pay back plays a major role in forming a cabinet is overblown.

"I think it doesn't matter whether somebody really contributed to you (or) if they know you," Hannemann told KITV4.  "You're considerate, but make no promises. I mean, that's the worst thing that you can do — make a promise that you can't keep."

Caldwell was Hannemann's managing director from 2009 to 2010, when the former mayor left office to run for governor.  Hannemann says selecting the correct managing director is the most critical decision his protégé will make in the coming weeks.

"That is your alter ego; that's your number two," said Hannemann, "and you also have to look for a good deputy managing director."

When Mayor Peter Carlisle assumed office in October 2010, he kept roughly three-fourths of Hannemann's cabinet members.  Hannemann believes it's important for Caldwell to determine how much institutional knowledge may be lost if he replaces long-serving directors with a person of his choosing.

"It shouldn't matter who a person is aligned with; it shouldn't matter whether they're a holdover from the previous administration (and) whether they belong to your party," said Hannemann.  "If they want to serve, if they want to contribute, you should consider them."

When Hannemann took over from former Mayor Jeremy Harris, he made it a point to seek out those cabinet members who he believed would continue to contribute to his new administration.

"You have the political appointees that have to foster a very positive relationship with the civil servants," Hannemann explained.  "So, you need someone coming in that will tap into that institutional knowledge."

Caldwell will take the oath of office Jan. 2.  The mayor-elect beat former two-term Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano in the Nov. 6 general election, 52.9 percent to 45.2 percent.

Anyone interested in serving in the Caldwell administration is asked to submit an application to his Transition Committee at: Caldwell Headquarters, 1130 N. Nimitz Hwy., #A151, Honolulu, HI 96817. 

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