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Gov. Ige picks new slate for HCDA board regulating Kakaako

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A view of Kakaako.

A development consultant, a neighborhood board member and a slipper company owner are among the nominees announced Friday by Gov. David Ige to reconstitute the board of the state agency regulating development in Kakaako.

Ige is tasked with appointing a whole new board for the Hawaii Community Development Authority after the Legislature passed a law last year terminating the current board as of March 1.

The governor presented most, but not all, of his nominees to the Senate Friday for consideration and confirmation. It appears unlikely that the whole nine-member board will be in place by March 1, leaving the agency temporarily without the ability to make decisions, because the submissions of nominees is late.

The Legislature required that nominees be delivered to the Senate by Jan. 29. A spokeswoman for Ige said there was a delay because a list of recommendations from the City Council wasn’t given to the governor until Jan. 28, leaving him insufficient time for review and interviews.

The nominees named Friday are:

> John Whalen, founder and semi-retired consultant of Plan Pacific Inc., a planning and development consulting firm;

> Tom McLaughlin, member of the Ala Moana-Kakaako Neighborhood Board;

> Jason Okuhama, self-employed mortgage broker;

> William Oh, principal of Standard Financial;

> Steven Scott, owner of slipper maker Scott Hawaii.

Whalen was selected by Ige from a list offered by Senate President Donna Mercado Kim.

McLaughlin was selected from a list offered by House Speaker Joe Souki.

Okuhama, Oh and Scott were selected from lists offered by the City Council.

Two positions on HCDA’s board are automatically filled by the directors of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Budget and Finance or their designees.

Ige also has two other HCDA board picks — an at-large member and a cultural specialist — that he has yet to name.

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