Kim names Civil Defense chief

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Mayor Harry Kim tapped a former chief ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be Hawaii County’s next Civil Defense administrator.

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Mayor Harry Kim tapped a former chief ranger at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to be Hawaii County’s next Civil Defense administrator.

Talmadge Magno, 58, of Volcano, will start Jan. 3.

Magno will take the reins of the emergency response agency from Kim, who has acted as interim director since taking office Dec. 5.

Kim, who previously served 24 years as the Civil Defense chief, said Magno met all of his criteria and will be a good fit for the office.

“You’ve got to have the passion and the commitment,” Kim said. “That’s what I require.”

Magno, who was raised in Mountain View, said he retired from the National Park Service in January 2015. He said he was looking forward to serving Hawaii Island in a different role.

“I still wanted to be active and I still wanted to contribute to the community” after retiring, Magno said.

Kim selected Magno from a list of 14 people who previously applied for the job when former chief Darryl Oliveira retired last year. Ed Teixeira was brought on as interim director in May. He retired at the start of the new administration.

“I know there’s some big shoes to fill,” Magno said. “There’s some good people in there.”

Regarding the lava flow that threatened Pahoa in 2014, he said: “They were thrown in the fire right away, and they handled it.”

Magno said he has known Kim for a long time, noting the mayor was his football coach during his youth.

Kim said he interviewed Magno on Monday and was joined by representatives from the Police and Fire departments. Magno officially accepted the job Friday.

Kim said Civil Defense will go through some reorganizing and he plans to continue to play a role.

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“I will be more than just cursory,” Kim said he told Magno. “I will be there training.”

Email Tom Callis at tcallis@hawaiitribune-herald.com.

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