Saturday, October 30, 1999

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Retiring OHA trustee
recommends successor

By Pat Omandam


Office of Hawaiian Affairs trustee Moses Keale has recommended that Kauai native Randy Brandt Wichman be selected as interim trustee to replace him when he retires tomorrow.

Wichman, 42, is a grandson of educator Gladys Brandt, who served as an interim trustee for OHA last year.

Keale, who announced his retirement last week, said yesterday he believes he has a duty to ensure continuity and appropriate representation for Niihau and Kauai. He believes Wichman, a small-business man, would bring a rich and perhaps a new awareness to the OHA board.

"In searching for a replacement it was necessary to consider the attributes and character of this person who would fill this honored position as trustee of the Hawaiian people's trust," Keale said in a letter to OHA trustees.

Wichman has worked with several Hawaiian groups, such as the Polynesian Voyaging Society, where he was in charge of escort boats for the voyaging canoe Hokule'a. He also is a trained photographer and a French interpreter for Kauai Circuit Court.

The Lihue native is the rules and legislative committee chairman of the Anahola Homesteaders Association.

The OHA board is accepting applications from candidates who want to serve as interim trustee.

The board has 60 days from tomorrow to interview and select a trustee or Gov. Ben Cayetano will appoint one. The nominee would serve out Keale's term, which expires at the end of next year. Trustees earn $32,000 a year.

OHA Chairwoman Rowena Akana last week said any recommendation by Keale on his replacement must be considered by the entire board. Applicants must be 18 years old, of Hawaiian ancestry, a registered voter and live on Kauai or Niihau.

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