Governor Lolo hosts Cabinet Meeting
May 23, 2017
Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga hosted a cabinet meeting at the Department of Agriculture Conference Room attended by Directors and Agency heads, traditional leaders, agency support staff and members of the local media. The meeting began with welcoming remarks by Chief of Staff Fiu Saelua followed by a prayer by Deacon Malaki Timu before the introduction of Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga.
Governor Lolo Moliga spoke about the many important events which have occurred in the past few months including Flag Day, the significant visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, and a new renewable energy project and Executive Office Building in Ofu among other events. Governor Lolo stressed the need for the Administration to continue to improve services to the people of American Samoa. He urged the Cabinet members to use their influence to find more funding sources and take advantage of opportunities as presented. Mr. Arona Maiava was introduced as the new Grants Coordinator to facilitate this objective. Governor Lolo then afforded the opportunity to the heads of the respective government authorities for updates on their activities.
ASPA CEO Utu Abe Malae gave a short report regarding the opening of the new Satala Power Plant on May 25th. The new plant features noise abatement technology which will reduce operational noise. Utu valued the Satala Power Plant at over 50 million dollars, 17M from Insurance award, 24M provided by FEMA, and the remainder provided by ASPA.
On behalf of the Medical Authority, Taufete’e John Faumuina reported that services continue to be provided effectively. He also spoke about the Task Force that is planning a new hospital facility which continues their evaluations.
ASCC President Dr. Rosevonne Pato detailed some of their upcoming projects/plans. This included a fund-raising Golf Tournament sponsored by ASCC Research Foundation Board and continued skills/certification development. Dr. Pato acknowledged DOE Director Ruth Tofiga for collaborative efforts and partnership development with ASCC; and upcoming summer classes including those for Teacher Education.
A representative of the Shipyard Authority reported on the completion of a major project of dry-docking of a Rarotongan vessel with 2 to 3 long liners scheduled for similar services soon. There are also negotiations with the Department of Wildlife Resources for the “alia repair program”.
For the Public Library, Chief Librarian Justin Maga reported that their Computer Lab continued to be a focus to provide education and accessibility to the public, especially students. Summer Library programs are also being promoted.
On behalf of ASTCA, newly placed Interim Director Puleleiite Tufele said he was thankful for the opportunity and that plans were in place to improve services and most especially in the area of internet accessibility and reliability. Also a focus on improving services to the outer areas of the island was taken into consideration.
Following the reports from the Authorities, Governor Lolo thanked the speakers and again stressed the importance of all to work together to continue to improve services and infrastructure for the people of American Samoa. The Governor acknowledged that leadership has its’ difficulties but it is through facing difficulties that solutions are found.
The Governor next acknowledged TAOA Director Evelyn Lili’o who detailed some of the activities planned for the on-going celebration of Senior Citizens week including games, local food and culminating in a final gathering at Su’igaula on Friday. Governor Lolo encouraged the attendance of cabinet members to support and celebrate our aged population. The Governor also encouraged attendance of upcoming High School graduations which were announced by DOE Director Dr. Ruth Matagi-Tofiga. Governor Lolo also addressed important on-going programs such as Adopt-A-School and Island-wide beautification under the guidance of respective departments which should continue to be diligently administered. The Governor spoke about the challenge facing the Administration to settle the government budget and thus a Task Force led by Attorney General Talauega Ale is preparing a report for the Fono to propose new opportunities and ideas to find revenues to resolve our needs. Lastly, the Governor noted the preparation underway for the construction of a new Fono building with groundbreaking projected around Thanksgiving.
Lieutenant Governor Lemanu Palepaoi Sialega Mauga then offered closing remarks highlighting them by speaking about the recent Police Week culminating in “Family Day” attended by DPS staff and families and commended DPS Commissioner HTC Le’i Sonny Thompson and the Department of Public Safety for the spirit of “aiga” which was enjoyed by all and serves as a reminder of our values and priorities.
After final inspirational remarks by Secretary of Samoan Affairs Mauga Tasi Asuega, the cabinet meeting closed with a final prayer by Deacon Timu.