Guam – Senator Tom Ada is calling on the Attorney General of Guam to resolve the question of whether or not the terms of 2 Port Board members has expired.
He has written a letter to Attorney General Lenny Rapadas asking him to review his assertion “that the terms have expired and provide whatever assistance is available through the Office of the Attorney General to enforce the statutory requirements of the Port Authority of Guam Board of Directors.”
Senator Ada Chairs the Port oversight committee. He says following a review of the law, he believes that the terms of Board Chairman Dan Tydingco and Board member Mike Benito have expired.
Yesterday, [Wednesday], the Senator wrote to Acting Governor Ray Tenorio asking him to re-appoint the 2 Board members, or appoint new members.
Communications Director Troy Torres told PNC News today that following consultation with the Governor’s legal counsel, the Administration believes that the appointments of Tydignco and Benito remain valid and legal and there is no need to reappointment them or anyone else.
However late this afternoon, Senator Ada called on the Attorney general to step in and decide the question.
The Senator believes the law is clear. The board appointments are staggered, and he says Benito and Tydignco were appointed to fill the balance of the un-expired terms of the previous Board members. And as a result, the Senator says their 3-year terms actually expired last year.
READ the release from Senator Ada below:
Sen. Tom Ada Calls for new appointments to of Port Board of Directors
Senator Thomas C. Ada, Chairperson of the Committee on Public Safety, Infrastructure and Maritime Transportation, today wrote to Acting Governor Ray Tenorio asking him to make new appointments to fill the vacancies on the Port Authority of Guam Board of Directors.
According to Ada, who has legislative oversight over the Port, the terms of former Board Chairperson Dan Tydingco and Michael T. Benito have already expired, and the Acting Governor needs to make new appointments.
“It appears that in the overwhelming task of a new Administration to appoint and fill vacancies on the numerous boards and commissions of our government of Guam, an oversight occurred during the appointment process of the board members of the Port Authority of Guam,” Ada wrote.
According to 12GCA Ch. 10 §10103, the Governor is required to nominate members to the board to fulfill the unexpired terms of the previous member they are replacing.
The law specifically states “§10103. Board. (a) The Authority shall be directed by the Board which shall consist of five (5) directors appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Legislature. Directors shall be appointed and their names transmitted to the Legislature within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Chapter.
The five (5) directors first appointed shall classify themselves by lot so that their terms shall expire respectively as follows: One (1) on December 31, 1976, Two (2) on June 30, 1977 and Two (2) on June 30, 1978. Their successors shall be appointed each for a term of three (3) years to commence on the date of their confirmation by the Legislature. Any director vacancy shall be filled by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Legislature, for the unexpired term.”
The remaining board members are Vice Chairperson, Christine Baleto, Secretary, Mary Michelle Gibson and board member Eduardo Ilao.
“I am confident that you share my concern for the grave consequences facing our community with the knowledge that two (2) out of the five (5) individuals have been serving in an illegal capacity,” Ada wrote. “I trust that you will take immediate and decisive action to ensure our island’s commercial seaport is able to function within the parameters of Guam statute.”
Ada had previously scheduled a hearing on the Port for this upcoming March 5, 2013. Earlier this week, he added several additional items to the agenda including tenure of board members, Port legal services contract, management review of the PUC study and Workman’s Compensation Insurance (P.L. 17-58).
The hearing is scheduled for 3:00PM, March 5, 2013 in the Public Hearing Room of I Liheslaturan Guåhan. The information briefing will be televised on GTA channel 21 and MCV channel 13