City depart­ment head work­ing his last week

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - LOCAL - By Gor­don Y.K. Pang gor­don­pang@starad­ver­

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.

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