Rota mayor-elect Efraim M. Atalig has taken it upon himself to begin the transition for the Rota Mayor’s Office but the process has not been as smooth sailing as he’d like.
In a letter to Mayor Melchor Mendiola on Nov. 12, 2014, Atalig informed Mendiola that his transition committee is now in place and ready to do its job to make the transition between the two administrations as seamless as possible.
“I am asking for your understanding and full cooperation to inform all respective principal departments and other agencies within the mayor’s office jurisdiction that the transition committees will be conducting its missions and tasks from Nov. 17 to Dec. 5, 2014,” Atalig stated.
He added “With this in mind, I am requesting your favorable approval to give administrative leave for those government employees.”
In an interview with Atalig on Thursday, he said they want to jumpstart the process so that everything will be in place when he actually takes over the position in January.
However, on Nov. 14, Mendiola informed Atalig in a letter that the mayor’s office still has programs and activities that are ongoing.
“Therefore, for this administration to effect proper closures to those activities, we will not be able to provide an accurate picture of the status of those programs. …Please schedule your transition team to begin working on Jan. 1 to 14, 2015,” Mendiola stated.
Atalig responded to Mendiola on Nov. 18, stating that doing the transition work from Jan. 1 to 14, 2015, provides his team just 10 working days prior to the inauguration.
“This does not give me enough time to review and digest such a report [from transition committee]. The committee’s task will require more than 10 working days to complete. In addition, the inaugural event preparation and planning will also require time,” Atalig said.
Atalig told Saipan Tribune that they want to do a good job and start transitioning now because that is what people expect from the mayor’s office as soon as he gets into office.
“I just want an orderly and efficient transition and I don’t want to make a big deal of this and the people expect us to do things soon and we will just have to be calm and cool,” Atalig said.
Rep. Teresita A. Santos (R-Rota) has prefiled a Rota Legislative Delegation resolution that urges Mendiola to cooperate and assist Atalig’s transition team to ensure a smooth and orderly transition.
In her prefiled resolution, Santos said that Atalig seeks the assistance and cooperation of Mendiola in instructing all resident department heads to work in collaboration with the transition committee.
“I did the resolution to provide a smooth and clean transition for the people of Rota and Atalig,” Santos said.
There hasn’t been any action on the resolution yet.
Mendiola, an independent, lost his re-election bid in the Nov. 4 general elections. Atalig ran under the NMI Republican Party.