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Council members pick committee posts

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The City Council, with five new members coming on board next year — including one who has yet to be elected — has organized behind Nestor Garcia as Council chairman for 2011.

"My pledge is to provide stability so the Council can do its work efficiently and at the same time to raise the bar in terms of our effectiveness and fiscal responsibility to the people," Garcia said in a news release.

Councilman-elect Breene Harimoto, a former state Board of Education chairman, will serve as vice chairman, while veteran lawmaker Romy Cachola has been named floor leader.

Some incoming Council members, who will be sworn in Jan. 3, have been named to key committee leadership positions.

Council members-elect Ernie Martin and Tulsi Gabbard Tamayo have been tabbed as chairman and vice chairwoman of the Budget Committee, respectively. Martin is the city’s acting director of community services, while Tamayo previously served two years in the state House of Representatives.

Other committee chairmen include Romy Cachola, Executive Matters and Legal Affairs; Ann Kobayashi, Planning; Ikaika Anderson, Zoning; Gabbard Tamayo, Safety, Economic Development and Government Affairs; Stanley Chang, Public Works and Sustainability; and Harimoto, Transportation and Transit Planning. Chang is a councilman-elect.

Although the Council member from District 1, Todd Apo’s former seat, has not yet been selected, Garcia said the incoming member will serve as chairman of the Parks and Human Services Committee, with Anderson as vice chairman.

Fourteen candidates are running in a special election to fill Apo’s seat, representing the Leeward-Ewa district. Voting ends Dec. 29. Apo resigned Nov. 8 to take a job at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Hawaii.

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