Local Connection: Carleton Ching - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Carleton Ching

By: Rick Blangiardi  

Those who have ever wondered why a successful business leader doesn't quit his day job and take a hefty pay cut to take on a top role of a public servant need only look at exhibit a: Carleton Ching.

Through two days at the capitol lasting more than 12 hours, environmentalists and others railed against Ching, vice president of community and government relations for Castle and Cooke. They said he was in no way qualified to run the state's Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The senate Committee on Water and Land voted against his nomination but he really never had a chance from the start. Submitted written opposition ran about nine to one against Ching and nearly 7- thousand signed a petition opposing him.

To his credit, Gov. David Ige never flinched away from his nominee despite the fierce criticism. I'm sure the governor believed he was thinking out of the box by selecting the man who was instrumental in getting the Koa Ridge development approved due to Ching's extensive experience in this area.

But to many who are part of the environmental movement, someone like Ching, just because he works for a developer, should not even be considered. They cannot imagine he brings any skills to bear in his current role.

Ching's nomination will go to the full senate and who knows where that will end up as Ige will try to sway his friends and colleagues in the senate. But I can't help but wonder if Ching already regrets his willingness to become a public servant.

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