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Maui Emergency Management Agency Administrator Resigns Over Health Reasons

Herman Andaya, the administrator of the Maui Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), resigned on Wednesday, August 17, 2023, citing health reasons.

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Maui Emergency Management Agency Administrator Herman Andaya speaks during a news conference in Wailuku, Hawaii, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023.

Andaya had been with MEMA for over 10 years and had been the administrator since 2019. He was responsible for overseeing the agency's response to a number of natural disasters, including the recent Maui wildfires.

In a statement, Andaya said that he was resigning "due to health reasons that require my full attention." He said that he was "proud of the work" that he had done at MEMA and that he was "confident" that the agency would continue to do "great things."

Andaya's resignation comes at a time when MEMA is facing criticism for its response to the Maui wildfires. Some residents have accused the agency of not doing enough to warn people about the fire and of not providing adequate resources to firefighters.

The Maui County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a special meeting on Thursday, August 18, 2023, to discuss Andaya's resignation and the future of MEMA.

The Maui County Department of Fire and Public Safety said that it would be conducting a search for a new administrator.

Andaya's resignation is a blow to MEMA, which is already under fire for its handling of the wildfires. The agency will need to find a new administrator quickly and effectively to rebuild public trust.

The new administrator will face a number of challenges, including addressing the concerns of residents who were affected by the wildfires and improving the agency's response to future disasters.

The Maui County Board of Supervisors will need to play a key role in ensuring that the new administrator is up to the task. The board should hold the new administrator accountable for the agency's performance and ensure that it is adequately funded and staffed.

The future of MEMA is uncertain, but the agency's new administrator will have a chance to make a difference. The board of supervisors and the community must work together to ensure that the agency is prepared to handle future disasters.

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