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House confirms Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona as DHSS director

Department of Human and Social Services director nominee Taeaoafua Dr. Meki Solomona was the first cabinet nominee to sweep the votes in the House of Representatives (18-0) yesterday morning when the long time cannery official appeared before the House Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Rep. Faimealelei Anthony Fu'e Allen. (Taeaoafua will appear for confirmation before the Senate Human Resources/Human and Social Services Committee chaired by Senator Magalei Logovi'i on Thursday morning).The gallery was packed with supporters including DHSS employees, family, friends, Star Kist general manager Brett Butler and prominent local businessman Avamua Dave Haleck.The hearing lasted less than an hour, with lawmakers praising Taeaoafua's qualifications and thanking him for his decision to return to serve in the government, after nearly 20 years of service in the private sector, working at Star Kist Samoa. (Prior to his stint at the cannery, Taeaoafua served as Department of Commerce director, was also a special assistant to the Director of Education, and principal of Samoana High School).Freshman Rep. Talaimatai Elisaia Su'a asked Taeaoafua if he has enough strength to carry out his duties. Taeaoafua replied that he is ready, and he has the strength to do the job. He said he has been gone from the American Samoa Government for way too long and now it is time for him to return and serve the people of the territory. He said whatever strength and knowledge he may have, he is willing to contribute all of it, so he can be useful to the territory and its people. \O ai ea a'u?\ (Who am I?) he asked. \I am just someone who wants to serve