Pulelei'ite: We are not the 'opposition' in the House
Yesterday morning during the House regular session, Rep. Pulelei'ite Tufele Li'amatua Jr. echoed the same sentiment voiced by Rep. Taotasi Archie Soliai a day earlier, requesting House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale to reconsider his committee selections. (The list of standing committees has been distributed and the 7 lawmakers who did not side with Savali during the race for House Speaker were not selected to any chairmanship posts, neither do they have membership status. Pulelei'ite was one of them).
The faipule from Sua expressed concern about the fact that he and the other lawmakers who were not chosen to be part of any committee are public servants who were elected by voters in their districts to be their voice in the Legislature. Pulelei'ite told the House Speaker that he "wants to serve" and he is "willing to work and be useful in whatever area he is needed." He said he was saddened when the media labeled him and the others as the "opposition" and said that while they did not side with Savali during the race for House Speaker, it did not mean they were 'opposed' to the other side but rather, stood on their own beliefs — separate, but not necessarily opposed to the Speaker and his side.
The Speaker replied by saying that in his leadership role, he really does not like to talk about the same thing repetitively but he will take the request into consideration. He said that his selection of committee leaders and members does not mean those who were not selected are not able to participate and be part of the discussions; however, the conducting of business and how matters are addressed will be the responsibility of the committee leaders and members that he has chosen.
OTHER HOUSE NEWS
Aua faipule calls for an assessment of flooding in school cafeteria
Rep. Faimealelei Anthony Allen has requested House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale to direct the chairman of the House Education Committee to find a solution for the continuous flooding at the Aua Elementary School cafeteria.
Faimealelei said during the House regular session yesterday that this isn't the first time he has mentioned this issue on the House floor, as it has been a problem for many years now.
The Aua faipule said the issue should be addressed immediately, as young children use the cafeteria to eat and therefore, sanitation should be a priority. He said he feels sorry for the cooks and food servers because every time there are heavy rains, they are the ones who can be seen scooping up water and dirt.
DPW officials to testify before the House on current road conditions
The issue involving potholes that seem to get bigger everyday made its way to the House floor on the first day of the regular session. Chairman of the House Committee on Public Works Rep.Atualevao Gafatasi Afalava has assured his fellow lawmakers that he will make contact with DPW acting director Faleosina Faiai Voight and schedule a day for her and the appropriate DPW personnel to appear before the House.
The issue with deteriorating road conditions has caused a stir not only with the public but also local lawamkers. Representatives Larry Sanitoa, Taotasi Archie Soliai, and Pulelei'ite Tufele Jr. have already met and spoken with officials from the Federal Highway Administration who departed the territory last week. One of the issues of interest from the meeting was that the territory could apply for an advance on FHWA funding if it qualified, and Guam was noted as an example of how the advance could be obtained.