Man’amko council elects new officers

Posted on Sep 27 2011

Aging Center congregates Teresita Sorroza and Christiana Michael will both be serving second terms as Saipan Seniors Advisory Council chair and treasurer, respectively, after being re-elected to their positions during the council election held yesterday.

Besides Sorroza and Michael, Maria Salinas was voted vice chair while Elena Villanueva was chosen secretary. The two are both new to the council.

The four newly elected officers will lead other council members—Rita Reyes, Alejandra Blas, Meryalen Conrad, Siyau Muna, and Manuel Mesa—as well as the rest of the man’amko at the Aging Center.

Right before the election, Aging director Rose Mondala briefed council members for 2011-2012 about the critical responsibilities of elected officers, including preparation of reports, representing the man’amko, and discussing the man’amko’s various programs to the media and the public in general.

“I need you all to know what you’re voting for. You got to make sure that you know your duties and responsibilities,” she said.

Mondala added, “I’m not going to tell you who to vote. But you should know who to vote for: someone who can do the job. That’s the most important concern I have. Please, when you vote today, you better vote wisely.”

Mondala, who congratulated the new officers immediately after the election, said she is “satisfied” with the election results.

“I know already where the election is going to go because of the mountain of responsibilities waiting for the elected officers,” said Mondala. “I want them to work as a team. All of them.”

Aging coordinator Walter Manglona said the election for the new council officers is usually held on Sept. 30 but they opted to do it sooner to avoid being non-operational because of the need to submit a petition of new council officers to the Department of Commerce and new signatories to the bank.

Since the chair and the treasurer were re-elected, Manglona noted that there would be no need to change the signatories.

Sorroza told reporters after the election that congregates at the Aging Center have already seen her work during her first term “and we foresee more changes and definite plans” this new term.

“Travel would be a priority for this year because we have not been going out, not even to Mañagaha,” she said. Sorroza said they are looking at possibly bringing the man’amko to Tinian, Rota, or Guam.

The biggest challenge she expects in her second term is “attitude change.” “It’s very difficult to handle man’amko. Some are very sensitive. A little thing would make them flare up; you have to find a balance,” she explained.

Sorroza disclosed that she is not satisfied with what she carried out during her first term. “I will try better. I hope to accomplish more for the sake of the man’amko.”

Manglona added that they are looking at creating subcommittees within the council such as bingo, arts and crafts, and fundraising where other council members can participate.

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