Ige's chief of staff will take a huge pay cut - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Ige's chief of staff will take a huge pay cut

Mike McCartney Mike McCartney
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

Governor-elect David Ige announced his first appointment Friday, a chief of staff who's well known in business and political circles who's taking a large pay cut to work in the governor's office.

In his first news conference as governor-elect, Ige named Hawaii Tourism Authority President Mike McCartney as his chief of staff.

"You know I've known Mike for more than 20 years,” Ige told reporters. We were colleagues in the Legislature. We've been through school reform together. We've been through reforming the Legislature together.”

A former state senator, McCartney has also served as state human resources director, head of PBS Hawaii, executive director of the public school teachers union and chairman of the Democratic Party of Hawaii.

"It's a privilege and honor to work for the governor and the lieutenant governor and to serve the state of Hawaii. I think we have many challenges ahead and one of them is finding the best cabinet, the best team, to work with us," McCartney said.

McCartney will take a nearly 50 percent pay cut, going from his $270,000 salary at the Hawaii Tourism Authority to $143,028 as governor's chief of staff.

"Government pay for the director level jobs are significantly below what the private sector would pay for equivalent kinds of positions if you view the state as a $12 billion organization," Ige said.

Ige was endorsed by the Hawaii State Teachers Association, the public school teachers' union, and his wife is a longtime public school teacher and principal. Ige was asked if appointing McCartney, former head of the union, will stoke complaints that he's already too close to the teachers' union.

"Some of the times my positions have agreed with HSTA, some of the times we have actually been in opposition," Ige said.

Ige and his advisers are working out of transition offices here at the State Office Tower, across from the State Capitol, and have begun accepting resumes and applications for 41 director and deputy positions.

Asked if there are any policies or programs of outgoing Gov. Neil Abercrombie that he plans to stop when he takes office Dec. 1, Ige said, "We're not really targeting anything. I think we'll be evaluating all programs and all expenditures and making a decision about whether it's in the best interest of the public and the community."

Ige is still deciding whether to hold his inauguration on the grounds of Iolani Palace, where Abercrombie held his ceremony four years ago in a move that angered some Native Hawaiians. Ige must decide whether he will be sworn in at the Palace or the State Capitol, where former Gov. Linda Lingle was sworn in for both of her terms in office.

Ige heads to Colorado next week for training sessions with the National Governors Association, paid for by the association, he said.

Resumes and applications for the Ige administration can be sent to: http://dhrd.hawaii.gov/gov-elect-ige

Copyright 2014 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved. 

Powered by Frankly