SMALL VILLAGE FUND REMANDED BACK TO GOVERNOR’S OFFICE
The Governor’s Office has again taken over the responsibilities of managing and overseeing the Small Village Fund account, which provides money for small village projects such as small stream reconstruction and small secondary roads in villages.
Former Gov. Togiola Tulafono more than three years ago, transferred the Fund to the Office of Samoan Affairs, saying that this was the proper agency to oversee this money as they deal directly with villages.
However, in the Office of Samoan Affair’s FY 2013 second quarter performance report, the agency says the Fund program is officially under the Governor’s Office since the beginning of the 2nd quarter and therefore they are no longer involved with programs funded by this account.
If the Governor’s Office requires pending requests from previous quarters, Samoan Affairs will provide the information, the report says.
The Fund existed without any money during the first quarter, after Togiola last October line-item vetoed this budget item due to additional money provided by the Fono.
The original proposal was for $100,000 to cover FY 2013 but the Fono added an additional $140,000.
Togiola said the excess allocated by the Fono came with no information or reasons for proposing the increase. He then went on his radio program saying that the Fono approved a 40% increase because it was election time.
The Lolo Administration’s $5 million FY 2013 supplemental appropriation included $150,000 for the Small Village Fund.
FAIPULE QUESTIONS STATUS OF AIRPORT ROAD PROJECT
Tualauta Representative Florence Saulo is seeking the status of the Airport road project currently being undertaken by Whitehorn Construction, in a letter sent to Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga.
“I see that work has begun and a portion of sidewalk is in place from Tafuna High School to the Post Exchange intersection. However, given I am constantly inquired by my constituents as to the slow progress of work, I was wondering whether you would be able to provide some insight as to why the project has dragged and whether the Government intends to take some remedial measures. I am grateful that the Airport road is finally getting worked on, but as a public servant I am also concerned with the deliberate pace by which it is moving”.
The female faipule extended her gratitude to Governor Lolo for the manner in which Department of Public Works has dealt with the issue of Tualauta roads and also noted that most of the residents “just want to see things improved”.
She also stated that “citizens must also do their part to make things better. That is why the idea of community involvement of these projects was well received by most.”
Copies of the letter were sent to Lt. Governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga, Western District Governor Lualemana Faoa, Senators Magalei Logovi’i and Letuligasenoa Soli, Representative Larry Sanitoa, DPW Director, Faleosina Voight, DPW Deputy Director Fa’alavai Ta’ase, Chief of Staff Fiu Johnny Saelua, Executive Assistant, Iulogologo Joseph Pereira and Reuben Siatu'u.
SAMOA EXTENDS CONDOLENCES TO OBAMA OVER DEADLY TORNADO
The Samoa government has expressed condolences to U.S. President Barack Obama over the deadly tornado that killed some two dozen people in Moore, Oklahoma, causing millions of dollars in damage.
National media reports that among the dead are ten children, seven of whom were at the Plaza Tower Elementary School, when the powerful tornado swept thru the city on Monday. The tornado was a top-of-the-scale EF5, reports The Associated Press.
“It is with shock to learn of the terrible destruction and the loss of lives and injuries in the massive tornado that struck near Oklahoma city,” Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi wrote to Obama. “Our prayers and thoughts are with you and all the relatives and friends of the people who tragically lost their lives and those seriously injured.”
“Samoa is no stranger to the tragedy of natural calamities, and we know well the tremendous pain and loss these events can wreak on communities,” said the letter which was released Thursday (Samoa time) by the government owned Savali newspaper.
On behalf of the government and people of Samoa, Tuilaepa expressed “our deepest sympathies and condolences to you, the Government of the United States of America and to all the people who have suffered through this tragedy.”