Ignacio Perez was elected Commonwealth Utilities Corp. board chairman at the first official meeting of the newly reconstituted board yesterday.
The rest of the board members are: Weston Deleon Guerrero, vice chairman, Matthew Holley, secretary, Jovita Paulino, treasurer, and Miranda V. Manglona.
Perez, a veteran CUC board member, is the only remaining member from the previous board that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres had dissolved in July due to power engine procurement issues.
According to Perez, there will be a lot of difference between the previous and current board when it comes to management.
“Whether I was voted chairman of the board or not, I drafted a plan and will introduce it to the board and see what we can do together about it. There won’t be specifics for now because it will be laid out in the coming board meeting but it will be better than the past,” he said.
Perez said that CUC’s planned purchase of a power engine has not been scrapped. “Every CUC project is considered a priority but the emergency priority of the board is to execute the emergency status that [required] us to purchase a 10-megawatt engine,” he said.
Aside from CUC, Perez is also the incumbent chairman of the Commonwealth Development Authority and Northern Marianas Housing Corp. board.
According to CUC legal counsel Jim Sirok, the situation where Perez chairs three organizations poses no conflict because being an officer of one organization and another “does not restrict him nor prohibit him from being an officer of this board, or hold any elected officer position.”
“Conflict will only come if there is an issue between CUC and CDA. Then whoever has a conflict, whether as a chair or non-chair, he would then have to disclose the conflict and abstain from voting,” Sirok added.
CUC executive director Gary Camacho said he and his staff look forward to working with the new board.
“The beginning of the meeting was wonderful and the board seems very focused on assisting us in moving forward and servicing the community.”
“As executive director, I am here to support the board in what they want and the direction that they feel that [CUC] must go. We are looking forward to working with the board and making it a better corporation for consumers,” he added.
Camacho has a list of suggestions to propose to the board.
“[Making] our utility [into] a modern one has always been a driver for me, such as introducing the advanced metering infrastructure. …Second is applying a larger scale solar systems to assist in reducing [our] dependency on fossil fuels and to trim down our daily peak demands using solar,” he added.