City department head working his last week
City Community Services Director Gary Nakata is resigning from his post at the end of the week, Honolulu Managing Director Roy Amemiya said in a memorandum to Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s Cabinet officials late Friday.
Nakata, asked by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to comment on why he is leaving and where he is going, emailed a statement that said he joined Caldwell’s staff when it first formed in 2013.
“I’ve decided that the time is right to begin my next chapter in life,” Nakata’s statement said. “I can look back at the accomplishments of the Department of Community Services ohana over the last four and a half years and the thousands of lives that we touched and know that the department is on a positive trajectory.”
The Department of Community Services handles a variety of housing, workforce and human services functions. In recent years the department has been under constant pressure to relieve the island’s affordablehousing crunch and help reduce homelessness.
Last week the city auditor issued a report stating that Community Services’ Section 8 Tenant-Based Assistance Program is meeting its federal requirements but deficient in several key areas.
Amemiya, in his memo, credited Nakata for leading the city’s multiagency development of Hale Mauliola, the homeless navigational center at Sand Island. Nakata also chaired the city’s Age Friendly City efforts, Amemiya said.
Nakata, an attorney, became community services director after Pamela Witty-Oakland, his predecessor, resigned in September 2014. He was the agency’s deputy at the time.