For Immediate Release: December 6, 2013
Press release by:
Council Chair Gladys C. Baisa
Maui County Council
Mateo appointed as County Clerk
WAILUKU, Maui, Hawaii – The Maui County Council adopted Resolution 13-144 appointing Dennis A. “Danny” Mateo as the new County Clerk, Council Chair Gladys C. Baisa announced today.
Mateo, Executive Assistant to Mayor Alan Arakawa, is a former Maui County Council Chair and held the residency seat for Molokai.
“He is a consummate professional,” Council Chair Gladys Baisa said. “He dedicates every ounce of himself to the job. Let’s get going, we have lots of work to do!”
Mateo addressed council members’ concerns about a potential conflict of interest about being a former elected official and currently working for the administration.
“I don’t see a conflict and in fact, I think it helps,” Mateo responds. “A line can be drawn between involvement, association and participation with my experience.”
Mateo noted that he is not the first elected official to serve in the same capacity. Former Councilmember Rick Medina was appointed as Deputy County Clerk in the past.
“Danny would not do anything to jeopardize his credibility and integrity,” Councilmember Stacy Crivello said.
The Office of the County Clerk receives and maintains certain public records and makes them available to the public. The office is also responsible for elections in the County of Maui and the County of Kalawao.
According to Mateo, assuring a “smooth and unflawed 2014 election process” will be his top priority as County Clerk. “It will be a learning curve for me but I will not hesitate to request information from state election officers to make sure that we are up to par with standards.”
As Council Chair, Mateo became familiar with many procedures within the Office of the County Clerk. “I realize that there are major issues that need to be addressed on how the office can provide efficient and effective service to the citizens,” Mateo said. “The office has excellent staff that I will work closely with to gain stability,” said Mateo.
The Office of the County Clerk, located on the seventh floor of the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku, accommodates early walk-in voting for residents unable to go to their polling areas on Election Day. Mateo noted that adequate space is always an issue during this time.
“There are also storage and security issues that need to be addressed with office operations,” Mateo added. “I know that year after year, the Office of the County Clerk seeks adequate facilities to accommodate the office.”
Mateo further commented that he is “anxious and excited” for the opportunity to serve the people in this new position. As a former elected official, he said he is aware of the challenges associated with voter registration and civic engagement.
Mateo is a son of a sakada, the group of Filipino immigrants who came over to work in the plantation, from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, Philippines. He was raised in Paia, lived on the island of Hawaii, then moved to Molokai where he operated a company that rented cars and mules for the Kalaupapa trail ride.
Since that time, he has dedicated himself to working as a public servant and this new opportunity will allow him to continue to serve the County of Maui.
# # #