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County of Hawai‘i <br />PLANNING DEPARTMENT <br />PUNA COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PLAN – <br />ACTION COMMITTEE <br /> <br /> Hawai`i County is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer <br />Duane Kanuha Director Joaquin Gamiao-Kunkel Deputy Director <br /> <br /> William P. Kenoi <br />Mayor <br />East Hawai‘i Office 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3 Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720 Phone (808) 961-8288 <br />Fax (808) 961-8742 <br />West Hawai‘i Office 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Hwy Kailua-Kona, Hawai‘i 96740 <br />Phone (808) 323-4770 Fax (808) 327-3563 <br />May 10, 2016 <br /> <br /> <br />Duane Kanuha <br />Planning Director <br />Planning Department <br />101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3 <br />Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720 <br /> <br />SUBJECT: Planning Consultant for the Pāhoa Regional Town Center Plan & <br />Wastewater Treatment Study <br /> <br />Aloha Director Kanuha, <br /> <br />Thank you for your letter dated June 6, 2015 responding to our previous requests to reconsider <br />your decision to not move forward with the hiring of a consultant for the Pahoa Regional Town <br />Center Master Plan and Wastewater Treatment Study. <br />While we can appreciate the challenges the Planning Department would face taking on additional <br />planning projects concurrent with the process of updating the General Plan at a time when <br />critical staffing positions are vacant, we note that it has been more than a year since these <br />vacancies came about and still they remain unfilled_ Further, we do not believe that it is <br />reasonable to expect the residents of Puna to wait another two or more years for the updates to <br />the General Plan to be completed and adopted before efforts are resumed in the implementation <br />of critical actions key to village /town cen4 development in those communities where years of <br />grass roots effort have made them ripe for fulfillment. Therefore, we respectfully urge you to <br />redouble efforts to fill the existing vacancies and to seriously consider requesting and budgeting <br />for additional positions in the Long Range Division as may be necessary to satisfy current <br />planning responsibilities as well as those anticipated with the adoption of additional Community <br />Development Plans. <br />We further note that, if the lava flow had not occurred just as the consultant contract for the <br />Pahoa Plan was being executed, we could be roughly half way completed with the plan by now. <br />We are also aware of the fact that the staffing vacancies in the Planning Department's Long <br />Range Division cited as being "foremost" among your concerns as to the plausibility of <br /> Hawaii County is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer planningghawaiicounty.Qov <br />