Agawa named deputy water director

SHAYNE AGAWA – Comes from Public Works

The Maui News

A veteran engineer in the county Public Works Department, Shayne Agawa, has been appointed deputy director of the Department of Water Supply, Mayor Alan Arakawa announced Wednesday.

The appointment of Agawa, which does not require confirmation by the County Council, has been effective since Tuesday.

He replaces Gladys Baisa, who has been serving as acting water director. Her appointment requires confirmation by the council. She is a former council member and executive director of Maui Economic Opportunity.

The position of water director became open when former water Director Dave Taylor recently resigned to take an energy/capital improvements projects coordinator position, part of a settlement of a lawsuit by Taylor over alleged wrongful termination and defamation against the county and the mayor.

The former water director had been on paid leave since Nov. 15 when Arakawa dismissed him from the position. However, the firing required the approval of the council, which unanimously denied the mayor’s request in December.

The mayor chose to keep Taylor on paid leave after the council’s action, which prompted Taylor’s lawsuit in January.

Agawa has been a civil engineer in the Engineering Division of the Public Works Department. He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Seattle University and worked at Warren S. Unemori Engineering prior to joining the county in 2002.

The fact that Agawa is a civil engineer is important, because the County Charter requires either the director or deputy director to be an engineer. Baisa is not an engineer.

“Shayne has been commended for being a hardworking, diligent and efficient civil engineer for the County of Maui,” said Arakawa. “This new role as the Department of Water Supply’s deputy director is a great opportunity for Shayne to continue to utilize his engineering skills and experience to further serve the people of Maui County.”

Agawa said he was thankful for the opportunity and “excited to apply the skills that I’ve gained over the years to serve our Maui Nui community through the Department of Water Supply.”