Dear Editor, 

I’ve been following with great interest and amusement the performance, or more accurately the showmanship, of our Tualauta faipules — Larry Sanitoa and his side kick Junior Satele; or is it the other way around? Sometimes the name of Archie Soliai is thrown in the mix- through their timely crafted overreaching media blitzes. I must admit they take nice pictures, especially at the locations of the Mormon Lake, Hope House River, Tafuna High School Campus, and lately the Iliili Road trash dump.

I suppose after receiving two years of trust from Tualauta, with no other opposing team against them in 2010, that you both did not have to do anything; and now it is 2012 election year and WOW guys, you’re here and there and everywhere — especially you Larry. On that note, I would like to acknowledge and congratulate Mayor (Pulenu’u) of Iliili- Tautua Tauali’i Tupua for catching these culprits that have been trashing the Iliili road. What happened to the Kodak moment Larry or Galu? Oh! That’s right you were not there. 

I admire their high octane level of busyness, especially Larry, who reminds me of that Ever-ready battery bunny commercial — “he goes on and on and on and on….!” In terms of substance however, their dog and pony show is second only to the Togiola-Faoa extravaganza in the measuring tape of lacking.

The Tualauta people unfortunately will see more of these self-promoting activities as the 2012 Election heats up. But this time around, the Tualauta people are now seeing the difference between loud noises and results; superficiality and substance; conniving and forthcoming; boys and men (or women).

Recently, as reported by Samoa News, Larry went to lengths explaining (and petitioning) why ASPA should postpone the raise in electricity and water fees since Congress is now postponing the minimum wage increase. While at it, can Larry also petition McDonald;s, his other employer, to postpone any increase in their fast food products until Congress lifts the hold on the minimum wage in 2015; or cut the fat and salt content of its products because Samoans are obese and suffering from diabetes and heart diseases — making services at LBJ Hospital unaffordable? Is it true that McDonald’s enjoys some tax holiday from ASG? If so, is Larry willing to petition his boss to give up the tax benefits so ASG can have more tax monies to pay its ASPA subsidy and past due bills? He probably would lose his second job (or first) at the instance.

The fact is, ASPA fees are increasing because ASG hasn’t been paying the ASPA subsidy and owes ASPA back bills big time. That’s the bottom line; and Larry and the other two know it (as well as the rest of the Fono and Kovana, LT, and their administration).

The Fono and Kovana are running budget deficits, making it less likely the ASPA debts and subsidy (hence the high utilities fees) will be resolved anytime soon. Do we hear Larry and the other two representatives question these deficits relative to the ASPA high fees? I haven’t heard anything to such effect.

What Larry and JR (and Archie) should be doing is suing ASG on behalf of the people of not only Tualauta and Ituau but ALL AMERICAN SAMOANS, if they couldn’t do the job legislatively. They should also propose a bill to make $30,000 of their income (in the guise of Fono allowance) taxable wages, to increase revenues and help pay the ASPA subsidy or the ASG utilities bill.

On the House initiated 2% wage tax that is now law: Do we hear Larry and the other two representatives question the fairness of this law to the poor working people; all the while the Fono members are not paying a single penny in wage tax on their so called $30,000 allowance? No, I haven’t heard anything to such effect.

As to the aforementioned lake, river, and trash dump, I suggest that Larry and JR get to the bottom of the problem and work on permanent solutions once and for all if necessary; and stop these regular photo ops at the aforementioned trouble spots (it’s becoming annoying and degrading of the esteemed Tualauta positions).

They need to move on to more important problems afflicting the territory let alone Tualauta, the largest county in the territory — economy (jobs, jobs, jobs…), health care, high electricity bills, and education.  

If they cannot do as suggested above, the two representatives should put a lid on it — stop insulting the Tualauta people; and seriously consider not standing for re-election and taking up space (and money) at the Fono. 

_Tualauta is home to the late P.C. Letuli Toloa and Afioga i le Sa’o Tuana’itau Tuia — former iconic leaders of the Fono who put Tualauta on the map politically; and two giant statesmen of the territory who helped develop this territory to where it is today. It is the duty of every Tualauta representative and senator who follow to protect, upkeep, and not trivialize their legacies.

Esther Fiatoa Wall


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