Press release from Mayor-elect Mitch Roth:
A trio of key department heads was announced today by Mayor-elect Mitch Roth, nearly rounding out his diverse cabinet of leaders from across the County and State of Hawaiʻi.
Heading up the Planning Department will be former Hawaiʻi County Councilman Zendo Kern of Kurtistown. Civil Engineer S. Ikaika Rodenhurst of Hawaiian Acres will lead the Department of Public Works, and Ramzi I. Mansour of Honolulu, also a professional engineer, is the new Director of Environmental Management.
“I am humbled by the experience that these three people bring to our team,” said Mayor-elect Roth. “We are fortunate that they are willing to serve their community.”
On Wednesday, Roth announced that Lee Lord, Phd, of Volcano will be the Managing Director and Bobby Command of Captain Cook the Deputy Managing Director. Elizabeth “Betsy” Strance of Kailua-Kona will be the countyʻs top attorney, Deanna Sako of Keaʻau the Finance Director, Maurice “Moe” Messina of Mountain View the head of Parks and Recreation, Scott Uehara of Hilo the Director of Information Technology and Susan Kunz of Hilo the Housing Administrator.
The name of the director of the Department of Research and Development will be released at a later date.
Kern is best known as the County Councilman for District 5 during the 2013-2014 Council Session where he chaired the Planning Committee. Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Kern is currently the owner of Kern and Associates, a land use consultancy specializing in zoning changes and governmental compliance. Kern has also been a businessman as well as a general contractor. When Kern was 18, he moved to the West Coast and established a successful career in real estate development.
Rodenhurst, a graduate of Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama and the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa where he majored in Civil Engineering, has worked for almost a decade with Bowers and Kubota as a project manager. He has been the project engineer for state and county infrastructure projects in both Honolulu and Hawaii Island. Rodenhurst also provided management support for repairs caused by the Kilauea Lava Event of 2018. He was born in Kailua, Oahu.
Mansour is currently Division Chief of Wastewater Treatment and Disposal on special assignment to the Director of Environmental Services for the City and County of Honolulu. Prior to that, he spent 20 years as Senior Engineering Manager for design, construction and closure for the Waste Management Department in Kern County, Calif., north of Los Angeles. Ramsour earned his degree in Civil Engineering from Fresno State.
All three of Mayor-elect Rothʻs appointments will face confirmation by the Hawaiʻi County Council.