CPA board allows online meetings


The Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors amended during Monday’s special meeting its bylaws so board members can meet via teleconference as long as they are in the CNMI.

After the directors’ discussions, board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds said the proposed new language in their bylaws should read that members of the board may participate in any meeting of the board within the CNMI by means of conference telephone or similar communication equipment by which all persons participating can hear each other.

All six directors—King-Hinds, Roman Tudela, Pete P. Reyes, Thomas P. Villagomez, Joseph Diaz, and Ramon Tebuteb—agreed with the new language. Barrie C. Toves was excused as he was on Rota.

King-Hinds presided over the emergency meeting held at 6pm between the arrival and departure terminals of the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

It was Toves, who chairs the board’s Airport Facilities Committee, that requested during their last board meeting to amend their bylaws so board members can meet via teleconference.

When asked lasy Tuesday for comments about the board’s approval of the amendment, Toves, who is a Rota resident, expressed appreciation to his colleagues for taking action on the amendment, which would now allow his participation in board meetings via teleconference, videocalls, etc.

Toves did not participate in the voting process but was able to listen and watch the meeting via Facebook live streaming. “The adopted amendment will allow me to participate on record in the next board meeting as long as I am within the CNMI,” he said.

Before the amendment, CPA’s bylaws require board members’ physical presence to vote on matters presented to the board for action.

Toves has effectively been stranded on Rota since April 3, after the lone airline that services the island, Star Marianas Air, temporarily suspended its flight services between the islands of Saipan, Tinian, and Rota until further notice, but will continue to provide 24-hour emergency flight services for patient transfers and other transportation needs to support control efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

Star Marianas also continues to provide inter-island air cargo services between the islands in the CNMI and Guam.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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