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We are all aware that the Lolo administration solicited resumes and applications for cabinet posts. Is there any process for interested people to express their interest in serving on a board or commission, etc.?

Ti’otala Lewis Wolman answers:

According to the Governor’s Office, there is no formal process for people to express their desires to be placed on Boards and Commission. Senior aide Iulogologo Joseph Pereira says, “People have called us [and their requests to be appointed] are forwarded to the Governor for his consideration.”

The Governor wants to make sure that individuals placed on Boards and Commissions are qualified, based on their knowledge and experiences, and in light of the statutory mandate of the Boards and Commissions.

The aide emphasized that Governor Lolo places economic development as his administration’s top priority, “because of the dire need to create jobs for our people. Economic expansion is fostered when consumer spending rises. This will not be possible if people don't have money to spend to purchase goods and services. The businesses create jobs. Hence it makes sense to place business owners on Boards and Commissions with balanced membership from the community to fashion policies that will create win win scenarios for the people of American Samoa.”

Iulogologo said that “the needs of the businesses and the community are congruent. For example, low utility rates will improve business profitability while the community, especially the low and moderate income earners, are not overburdened financially.”

He also noted that, “While the interests of businesses are promoted [by their membership on boards and commissions], sensitivities to the needs of the people are also addressed and represented by community members.”