Thursday, June 21, 2001

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OHA administrator
choice still not set

The current manager says
a report on his performance is biased

By Pat Omandam

Just who will be the next administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs remains the big question as the board is expected to reconvene in open session today hoping for a consensus.

After three days of interviewing six finalists, there is no clear-cut front-runner, although candidates Colin Kippen and Winona Rubin, both OHA employees, appear to have the strongest support on the board.

Meanwhile, outgoing administrator Randy Ogata responded to a critical in-house staff survey in which most respondents rated his job performance as poor and attributed low staff morale to his management style.

In a brief written statement yesterday, Ogata said the survey results, reported this week in the Star-Bulletin, are not a true representation of his management capabilities, practices and professionalism.

He said the report is biased and contains falsehoods that he believes were "clearly conceived with evil intent." The survey was approved by board leadership.

"Those that know OHA know that this is not about me or the staff at OHA but is about what OHA has become," Ogata said.

"After four years as the administrator of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, I can truly say that I have learned to appreciate the important things in life and am thankful for the experience," he said.

Ogata said he remains supportive of the Hawaiian community's quest for justice and federal recognition as an indigenous people. This issue, he concluded, is not only about people of Hawaiian ancestry, but how everyone should live with each other.

The other finalists for the $85,000-a-year job are Patricia Brandt, Jan Dill, Robert Ozaki and Clyde Namuo.

The board, which discussed all six candidates yesterday afternoon, has the option of going back into a closed-door session today if a majority of trustees cannot agree on an administrator.

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E-mail to City Desk

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