Lolo expected to name new Shipyard board today
New board members for the American Samoa Shipyard Service Authority are expected to be announced today by Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, who wants non-government employees on various government boards and commissions, says Shipyard Service board vice chair David Robinson.
More than a week ago, Lolo requested the resignation of three board members, Leilua Stevenson, Tasi Tuiteleleapaga and Motu L. Seui Jr., which was followed by the resignation of board chairman Carlos Sanchez, who said he did not want to give anyone an opportunity to terminate him from this position so he was gladly handing it over to the new administration.
Sanchez explained that a memo from the Governor, dated January 31, requested the resignation of three board members. The memo demanded resignations by the end of the same day or they would automatically be removed. He said the three members had only a half hour to resign or be terminated, because of the time the governor’s letters were delivered.
Responding to Samoa News inquiries, Robinson, the only current member of the board, said the governor is to announced today the new board and there has been “no impact on the work” of the shipyard “or employees” at the shipyard due to there only being one board member.
He says that he visits the shipyard every day to keep an eye on activities, as the semi autonomous agency continues to look for a general manager.
Asked for his reaction to Sanchez’s resignation, Robinson said, “Many people are sorry to see Carlos go as he has been the architect of the shipyard’s revival since the take-back of the shipyard by ASG in June 2011.”
Asked about the reaction about the other board members, who were asked by the governor to resign, Robinson said the governor “does not want government employees especially cabinet members on various Boards, so all the new appointments have been from the private sector.” He also said all three previous Board members were government employees.
Responding to Samoa News questions, Lolo’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira confirmed that the governor did tell Robinson that the new board will be announced today.
Iulogologo also confirmed that the governor wants various ASG board and commission members to be non- government employees.
“The Governor wants the directors to focus on running their respective agencies and not spend time on boards and commissions,” he added.
Meanwhile, Robinson says that the shipyard has a full work schedule from now until May this year “and we expect more work on purse seiners from Tri Marine International during the first six months and onwards through the year.”
“Our staff will continue to be fully employed and earn good wages and the spin-off in dollar terms to the economy continues to increase,” he said. “We shall probably have to employ some more staff to handle the work and we are now planning to start up a recognized apprentice scheme to train youngsters to be skilled trades people.”
Through an executive order, former Gov. Togiola Tulafono established the shipyard authority in May 2011. A five-member board of directors for the management and operation of the Ronald Reagan Marine Railways shipyard was selected to govern the new government entity.
The board is to be a five-member board of directors, with members appointed by the governor. According to the executive order, at least two of the directors shall be experienced in the management of shipyard and/or sea going vessels, at least one shall have a financial background, and at least one shall have a legal background.
Samoa News understands the following names have been mentioned as possible appointments to the board: Bill Satele, Louis Solaita, Leroy Ledoux, and Mike Wisnesky (Fleet Manager for Tri Marine) and Joe Carney (StarKist engineer).
There is no mention in the executive order if board members are subject to Fono confirmation.
Rhonda Annesley, editor, contributed to this report.