After the courtesy resignation of Commonwealth Ports Authority board chair Jose Lifoifoi last week, four of his colleagues followed suit and tendered their resignations with the new governor, Eloy S. Inos.
Board vice chair Manny Villagomez and board members Barrie Toves, Margaret Prater, and Benigno Sablan confirmed with Saipan Tribune their resignations yesterday, describing the move as a customary practice to show respect to the new administration, which should be given a free hand to select its own team.
Toves, Rota's representative on the CPA board, said he submitted his courtesy resignation yesterday but it has yet to be acted upon as of press time.
Toves is chairman of the board's finance committee. He joined the board in 2008 when he was appointed to continue the unexpired term of then board member Prudencio Manglona. His new term is expiring in May 2014.
“It is appropriate in my belief to voluntarily resign in order to extend the courtesy of assisting with the smooth transition of the new administration. Although my term on the board has yet to expire, I feel that you should be given the opportunity to select or retain members of the board of directors including CPA, as well as other agency and department heads,” states part of Toves' letter to Inos.
Sablan, chairman of the board committee on seaport facilities, turned in his courtesy resignation last Thursday. He described it as a show of respect for the new governor. Sablan, representing Saipan, has been with the board for five years; his current term expires in June 2013.
Villagomez, who represents Tinian on the board, said that whether the current board will continue or not depends on the decision of the new governor. Villagomez is on his second term, which expires in October 2015. He first joined the board to finish the term of then board member Ike Quichocho. He described his resignation as a “personal decision” and the “proper thing to do.”
Echoing her colleagues, Prater said her decision to resign is personal and proper to give the new governor leeway to select his own set of board members. Prater has been on the board for almost five years now, representing Saipan.
All four members thanked the governor for the privilege given them to serve the CNMI.
The CPA board is a seven-member body that governs the operation of all airports and seaports in the Commonwealth. Other board members are Fermin Sakisat and Connie Igisomar.
Meantime, CPA executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero said last week that he looks forward to working with the Inos administration. He said CPA has already been working closely with Inos when he was still the lieutenant governor.
Although CPA is an autonomous agency that relies on its own revenues, Deleon Guerrero said they are mindful of the Executive Branch's directives, specifically regarding hiring and salary adjustments.
The CPA board hires the executive director to implement the board's decision and actions. Deleon Guerrero's employment contract is due in December this year.