Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd Named New Director of the County Department of Planinng

Media Release

Hawai’i County Mayor Billy Kenoi has named Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd as the new director of the county Department of Planning effective March 1, 2009.

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Bobby Jean Leithead-Todd

The appointment fills one of the last key slots in the mayor’s cabinet. Kenoi was sworn in as mayor on Dec. 1.

Leithead-Todd, 56, is an attorney with extensive administrative experience and a strong background in planning. She is currently serving as acting deputy planning director.

“Ms. Leithead-Todd has the expertise and the drive to excel in this critical, demanding post,” Kenoi said. “Her family has lived on the Big Island for six generations, and her commitment to our communities, our environment, our people and our heritage make her the perfect choice.”

“She has vast experience with county operations, and is the right person to lead the Planning Department in this challenging time of change and transition,” Kenoi said.

Leithead-Todd grew up in Hilo and Volcano but has roots throughout the island as her parents also lived and worked in Kona, Kohala and Hamakua and her great-grandfather was a paniolo in Puako. She graduated from Hilo High School and from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo with a bachelor’s degree in English literature and a minor in Hawaiian Studies. She attended the William S. Richardson School of Law, where she obtained her law degree in 1986.

Her private law practice has concentrated on family law, and Leithead-Todd also served as deputy corporation counsel for nine years, from 1987-1993 and from 2003-2007. Much of her time as deputy corporation counsel was spent advising and representing the county Planning Department.

Leithead-Todd also served as the Legislative Auditor for the County and as a member of the Hawai’i County Council from 1996 to 2003. She served as director of the county Department of Environmental Management in 2007 and 2008.

“I am honored and humbled to be given this opportunity to shape the future of the island where I was raised, and where I raised my family,” Leithead-Todd said. “I look forward to serving all communities that make up our beautiful island home.”

Leithead-Todd’s long history of volunteer and community service includes stints as president, vice president and treasurer of the Hilo High School PTSA; president and assistant coach of the Keaukaha Canoe Club; chair of the Hawai’i County Board of Ethics; and Vice-President of the Board of the High Technology Development Corporation.

She has six children, including three foster children.

The Planning Department provides technical advice to the Mayor, Planning Commission and County Council on all planning and land use matters. The department is also charged with the administration of the Subdivision and Zoning Codes. The major divisions of the department are: Administrative Services, Ministerial Division, Long-Range Planning Division and Planning Section.

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