UH-Hilo student to work for Lingle
A University of Hawaii at Hilo student who was rejected by the Senate for the student seat on the Board of Regents has been appointed as Gov. Linda Lingle's representative to East Hawaii effective today, according to a news release from the governor's office.
Dylan Nonaka, 24, the president of the UH-Hilo Student Association, is also a real estate agent and former Marine. He is a 1999 graduate of Konawaena High School and is majoring in political science and economics.
As liaison, Nonaka will be the official East Hawaii representative for Gov. Lingle and will oversee the operations of the governor's office in Hilo. The office issues state identification cards and marriage licenses and provides the public with information and assistance relating to state government.
The job pays $44,100 a year.
Nonaka will also oversee the governor's East Hawaii Council of Advisors, which holds monthly meetings to seek community input and advise the governor of important issues, budget priorities and recommendations for state boards and commissions. Nonaka has been a member of the council since 2005.
"Dylan will be an outstanding advocate for the East Hawaii community," Lingle said in the written news release. "Through his work on the UH-Hilo Student Association as well as his service on my Council of Advisors, Dylan has demonstrated his commitment to making a difference in the community."
Nonaka replaces Andy Smith, who is becoming the West Hawaii liaison.
Last year, Lingle nominated Nonaka to the student regent position on the board that oversees the University of Hawaii system.
But Senate Democrats voted to reject Nonaka's nomination and would not allow Senate Republicans to withdraw his name.
The Higher Education Committee also voted against Nonaka, because of student opposition after he told the Star-Bulletin that he would support the tuition increase unless better alternatives could be found.
"We need to talk solutions, not just blindly opposing it," Nonaka said in April.