Hawaii CountyBy Rod Thompson
official chosen to replace
HILO -- Big Island Managing Director William G. "Bill" Davis, the soft-spoken No. 2 man in the Hawaii County government, has been named to succeed Harry Kim as head of Hawaii County Civil Defense, effective July 1.
Kim announced his upcoming retirement earlier this year.
Mayor Stephen Yamashiro nominated Davis to replace Kim, and state Civil Defense Director Maj. Gen. Edward Correa Jr. approved the appointment, the mayor's office announced this week.
Kim -- on the job for 24 years -- is almost universally known to Big Islanders as the voice on the radio giving them assurances about everything from major eruptions to lesser events such as oil spills on streets.
Davis' quiet nature hints at coming changes. He said yesterday that he isn't sure he will personally make such radio announcements.
"You don't replace a Harry Kim," he said. "What you do inherit is an outstanding base that's been developed over the years. Hawaii County Civil Defense is one of the more successful, disciplined organizations in the state."
Davis noted that as county managing director he was Kim's immediate superior and has been working closely with him -- including during occasional 2 a.m. phone calls -- for the past 7 years.
Davis' current post is appointive and ends this year with Yamashiro's term in office. The Civil Defense post is a civil-service job that will allow Davis, 62, to remain at work until retirement.
Originally from Kauai, Davis was manager of the Hawaii Naniloa Resort from 1967-1984. He later managed the Kauai Surf Hotel and was Regional Vice President for the Hemmeter Corporation in 1985.
County Finance Director Harry Takahashi will assume Davis' current post.
Kim has said he might run for mayor as a Republican after leaving the civil-defense post, but he said again yesterday that he will not make a decision until after June 30.