Maui’s head of emergency management resigns her post

Foust left for the Mainland with her family in June — the first month of hurricane season

Anna Foust

Anna Foust has resigned as head of the Maui County Emergency Management Agency to move with her family to Dayton, Ohio.

An agency official said Wednesday that Foust left her position as emergency management officer at the end of June, the first month of the six-month-long hurricane season.

Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said Foust’s husband had a job offer in Ohio, and she moved to the Mainland with her family.

“We were very sorry to lose her, but we’re taking some time to make some administrative changes . . . before we advertise for her replacement,” Antone said Wednesday morning.

Duties, management and even the title of her old position may change, he said. For example, the job title may change from “emergency management officer” to “emergency management administrator.”

Chief of staff Herman Andaya is overseeing the administrative changes, he said. Andaya said Wednesday that he hopes to have Foust’s replacement hired by the end of the year.

The job as head of the emergency management agency is a civil service position that pays from $78,408 to $116,292 per year, according to the Department of Personnel Services.

Foust had been head of the agency since December 2010 when it was known as the Maui Civil Defense Agency. She succeeded former administrator Gen Iinuma, who retired in June 2010.

Before taking the helm of the agency, Foust worked as its plans and operations officer, and she served in the county’s Management Information Systems Division. She also was director and disaster services coordinator with the Maui Branch of the Hawaii Red Cross.

Mayor Alan Arakawa bid farewell to Foust in the July issue of the Maui County newsletter, the High Street Journal.

“We will miss her very much as she has done a wonderful job leading our county through hurricanes, tsunamis, storms, floods and other crisis events,” Arakawa said. “I very much hope to find a qualified and suitable replacement for her as soon as possible.”

In a July 2 “Chair’s Three Minutes” column in The Maui News, Maui County Council Chairman Mike White praised Foust for her “outstanding leadership.” He said he was saddened to learn of her departure and was grateful for her service.

“During her tenure, she used her emergency response experience and training to help guide the county to keep citizens safe during hurricane warnings and watches, flooding events and tsunami warnings,” White said.

Foust provided leadership in the county’s response to the impacts of the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Tropical Storm Iselle in 2014 and massive flooding in September of last year, White said.

He said the emergency management officer post should be filled with a “highly qualified professional” with “significant experience in coordinating numerous agencies.”

The new officer also should be able to navigate the Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement process, he said.

Because the top job in the Emergency Management Agency is a civil service position, applicants go through a hiring process and can’t simply be appointed, White pointed out.

Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

Last year, voters approved a Maui County Charter amendment to change the name of the Civil Defense Agency to the Maui County Emergency Management Agency.

* Staff Writer Chris Sugidono contributed to this story. Brian Perry can be reached at bperry@mauinews.com.

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