Enterprise Services Department Director Sidney Quintal retired and moved his family to New Zealand last month.
Oh, you didn’t hear about that one either?
Quintal had been in charge of the Neal Blaisdell Center, the Honolulu Zoo and municipal golf courses — the city’s money-making operations. He was one of 19 department directors in Mayor Peter Carlisle‘s Cabinet.
Quintal’s quiet departure wasn’t a surprise, but it wasn’t exactly made public. There were no press releases, no public statements of any kind from the administration. In fact, the mayor’s executive assistant didn’t even know he was gone.
The only public evidence of his departure was a change to the Cabinet directory website. The spot for Enterprise Services Director has an empty photo box and a caption that says “(Vacant).” (A separate section of the city’s website that lists all departments and their directors still has Quintal’s name as of this writing.)
Asked about Quintal’s employment status Wednesday, Carlisle’s executive assistant Jim Fulton first said Quintal was merely out of town and not necessarily out of email range. Told that the department had already told Civil Beat that Quintal no longer worked there, Fulton checked with the Department of Human Resources and said Quintal had in fact finished his work for the city on July 31.
“We’re still interviewing for the director of Enterprise Services. Sid Quintal’s final day was a week ago Sunday, seven-31. Randy Leong was appointed to the deputy director’s job on seven-11, 2011. He’s handling the duties as it relates to golf courses, the NBC concert halls and all the things that go along with it,” Fulton said.
The department was created by former Mayor Jeremy Harris to combine agencies that are supposed to be profitable. More than any other department, Enterprise Services is supposed to operate like a business. But it’s tough to attract experienced private sector business leaders at public sector wages. Quintal made $118,344 last year.
Asked when the city was going to tell the public that a Cabinet-level director was no longer working for the city, Fulton said that Quintal’s planned move to New Zealand has been public since Carlisle took over last year. He said the city has “totally been up front and above board.”
“We knew that Sid was going to retire and … the time frame was known all along the way,” Fulton said.
Even though Fulton dismissed any intimation that the administration was being secretive, the lack of information about Quintal’s exit is just the latest example of the way the Carlisle administration communicates with the public. The mayor has made a big issue out of transparency, but didn’t put on his own public calendar earlier this month that he was going to Japan for a week to bolster sister-city relationships.
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