VIDEO: Port GM Brown Asks Governor to Veto Revised Port Master Plan Bill

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Guam – Port General Manager Joanne Brown has written to Governor Eddie Calvo asking him to veto the Port Master Plan bill.

Bill #283 passed by a vote of 9 to 6 during the last legislative session.

All 6 republican Senators voted against it after it was revised by oversight Chair Senator Tom Ada. The Senator and Brown have been at odds over the revisions which give greater priority to wharf improvements and require the Port to submit progress reports.

Brown has accused Ada of micro-managing. And at today’s Port Board meeting she said the major concern is the revised bill’s attempt to interfere with the authority of the Port Board.

In related news, questions have been raised about salary increases given to Brown since she was hired at the Port in December 2012. Brown declined to comment and referred us to former Port Board Chairman Dan Tydingco.

Tydingco pointed out that Brown was first hired as a Deputy and then promoted to GM. He said her salary was adjusted accordingly and Brown did not receive retroactive increases. He also said the Board reviewed Brown’s performance twice, and both times found her work to be excellent. 

READ the repsonse from former Port Board Chairman Dan Tydingco below:

Title 12 of the Guam Code Annotated governs autonomous agencies of the Government of Guam.  12 GCA Chapter 10 applies specifically to the Port Authority of Guam.  The controlling Section, 10111(c) states in its entirety:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the manager, assistant managers, the manager’s secretary, the comptroller and assistant comptroller shall be within the unclassified service of the government of Guam and shall be hired, compensated and employed under the terms and conditions fixed by and at the pleasure of the Board.

The Board of Directors for the Port Authority of Guam initially hired Joanne Brown in the position of Deputy Director in December of 2012.  Later that month, the Board terminated former General Manager Mary Torres and replaced Ms. Torres with Ms. Brown.

As the Board did with Mrs. Torres earlier, the Board brought on Ms. Brown with the understanding in December of 2012 that Ms. Brown would be entitled to a level of compensation commensurate with the approved Port Classification and Compensation Plan.  As Ms. Brown submitted her required documents, the Human Resources Division personnel appropriately adjusted her salary consistent with the Board’s decision in December when it first hired Ms. Brown as General Manager.  The Port did not award Ms. Brown retroactive increases but only effectuated the Board’s decision in December of 2012 to compensate Ms. Brown at the level her qualifications and experience reflected under the Port’s rules, and did so as Ms. Brown submitted additional documents required by the Port’s Human Resources Division.

Please find attached the Port transmittals which may assist you in better understanding this situation.   Any performance reviews and evaluation decisions were effective the date of the Board action, not the date of final implementation by the Human Resources Division (or other procedural signatures).  Again, Ms. Brown did not receive retroactive increases – any such increases were approved at the time and date of the Board action.

Additionally, the Board of Directors also reviewed Ms. Brown’s performance twice during Ms. Brown’s tenure as General Manager and both times found Ms. Brown’s work and performance to be excellent.   This practice is consistent with Public Law 27-20 Section 2 regarding Performance Reviews of Agency Heads specifically provides in pertinent part that:

“The governing boards for all agencies, instrumentalities, or entities shall issue performance reviews of the chief executive selected for that agency, six (6) months after appointment of the said chief executive and every six (6) months thereafter that the Chief Executive is retained by the Governing Board…”

See Public Law 27-20, Section 2 (Uncodified).

The Guam Legislature later enacted a separate law mandating autonomous and other boards subsequently review their managers twelve months after the initial evaluation.  There does not appear to be anything in the subsequent law that would prevent the Port Board of Directors from more actively and aggressively reviewing the performance of its General Manager.  We found no such prohibition, and the Board earlier adopted as its policy the more frequent review schedule enacted earlier by the Guam Legislature.

Insofar as GM Brown’s performance, the Board notes and has recognized the exemplary work she has done in the face of daunting obstacles.  She assumed the task of getting the shambled administrated processes and procedures back in order; getting operational efficiencies institutionalized, and getting strategic plans underway.

All the while, she has had to contend with prior inept management practices, a then-distant Port Users Group, politicians, and a Labor Union; to ensure an uninterrupted flow of cargo in and out of the island’s only seaport.