Michael Tulang is selected
for seat on Hawaii Council
HILO >> Retired federal agricultural economist Michael Tulang was selected by the Hawaii County Council yesterday to fill a vacant seat on the Council.
Tulang replaces Bobby-Jean Leithead-Todd, who resigned from the part-time elective post in July to take a full-time job with the county Department of Water Supply.
Tulang will represent Council District 2 (Downtown Hilo and Kaumana) until elections next year.
He said he will be a candidate then.
A native of Papaikou, near Hilo, Tulang received a master's degree in agricultural resource economics from the University of Hawaii in 1971.
He spent his career with the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, formerly the Soil Conservation Service.
Since retiring, he has held the part-time job of executive director of the Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts.
He is also a retired major in the Army Reserves.
In yesterday's vote by eight Council members, Tulang initially received four votes in a field of six candidates, not enough to win.
Before the vote became final, Councilman Aaron Chung changed his vote to Tulang from the next-highest vote-getter, attorney Gary Murai. That started a cascade of vote changes, eventually making Tulang's selection unanimous.
Tulang was sworn in and assumed his Council seat immediately after the vote.