New staffer joins Abercrombie team as another aide resigns

Published: Oct. 9, 2011 at 8:21 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 10, 2011 at 2:21 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Another aide to Governor Neil Abercrombie is getting ready to leave his administration. It's the fourth resignation announced in less than a week, but a new staffer will also be joining the team on Monday.

Jim Boersema is a familiar figure in Hawaii's public relations industry. The retired Army colonel worked as the Senate communications director this year, but now he has a new job after receiving a call from Abercrombie a few days ago.

"He knew me for a long time. He knew my background in marketing, PR, and community affairs in Hawaii for 30 years, and he said would I be willing to come in and take that position?" explained Boersema.

Boersema is arriving just as four other staffers are getting ready to leave. He'll replace communications director Josh Levinson.

"I'm very familiar with members of both the older, more experienced people that I've known for decades in some cases, and I worked with the younger people on the campaign so I'm friends with both sides and I think we all gotta work together to do what's better for the state," Boersema said.

The latest resignation announcement involves deputy communications director Laurie Au. The former Star Bulletin reporter will stay on until a replacement is found. Chief of staff Amy Asselbaye and deputy chief of staff Andrew Aoki said they were stepping down by the end of the month to spend more time with their families. Former state comptroller Bruce Coppa was named the new chief of staff.

This major shakeup is raising some eyebrows.

"I think the governor has come under a lot of criticism in the media for certain things. I can't say that's deserved or not, but I think his heart is in the right place. He wants to do good for the people of Hawaii," Boersema said.

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