Tenorio gets 2 more years at CPA

CPA deputy chief Mendiola also gets another 2 years

Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds presides over a special meeting last Friday at the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting classroom of the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport last Friday afternoon. The board unanimously voted to give Christopher S. Tenorio and Edward Mendiola two more years as CPA executive director and deputy director, respectively. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

The Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors unanimously approved Friday to renew the work contracts of CPA executive director Christopher S. Tenorio and deputy executive director Edward Mendiola.

All seven CPA directors approved giving both Tenorio and Mendiola two more years as executive director and deputy executive director, respectively, during a special meeting held at the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting classroom of the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport.

Tenorio and Mendiola have been on their positions for three years now. Their contract is supposed to expire this Christmas Day.

CPA board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds told Tenorio and Mendiola that they have her vote of confidence, but that comes with higher expectations. “I hope and I want to be clear, that my standards are going to be very high in terms of your performance for the next two years,” she said.

Tenorio, who said he is grateful for the opportunity and confidence that CPA has in him, concedes that his three years on the post has been a challenging yet rewarding experience.

Tenorio said he looks forward to continue steering CPA to accomplish its mission to develop air and sea navigation to and from the CNMI to its fullest potential.

Tenorio thanked the management and staff of CPA for “their dedication and cooperation” during the past three years he has taken the role of executive director.

“Their hard work has certainly eased the challenges and their dedication has become my reward,” he said.

Mendiola said he is very appreciative that the directors have confidence in him and Tenorio’s ability to continue moving the agency forward.

It was CPA director Pete P. Reyes who moved to approve the employment contract of Tenorio and Mendiola. Director Joseph Diaz seconded the motion.

Before the voting, director Barry Toves challenged Tenorio and Mendiola to act on projects for the Rota airport and seaport to improve its economy and benefit its people.

King-Hinds said that although CPA had a clear set of goals for last year, Super Typhoon Yutu hitting the CNMI in October 2018 did a number on the agency. They had to put certain projects on pause and redirect efforts, manpower, and resources to just basically get the airport back to working order, she said.

CPA’s inability to get things done reflects not just on Tenorio and Mendiola, but on herself as the chairperson of the CPA board and as a member of the board, King-Hinds said. She also feels that it reflects on every sitting board member.

She said the board has already briefed Tenorio and Mendiola on areas where they feel need clear improvement.

“And I am confident that the two of you have the ability to be able to address those issues,” she said.

Ed Mendiola

Come January 2020, King-Hinds said, the board is going to set up a working action plan and clear directives in terms of where CPA should be going.

She noted that over the course of these past six months CPA was kind of struggling in terms of trying to get projects done and reallocating resources.

“I think the emergency has come and gone. And we shouldn’t be reactionary; we should be proactive,” King-Hinds said.

She said some of the issues that the stakeholders at the airport had brought up should have never reached all the way to the board level. For example, if there’s an issue with air-conditioning and lights in the airport’s hallway, it should not take months to be able to address those basic simple issues, she said.

Christopher S. Tenorio

King-Hinds said she’s giving her vote of confidence on Tenorio and Mendiola, but that the two should expect that her vote comes with higher expectation that they are going to work as a team.

“We will show the community that what we’re doing here, the time and efforts that we’re spending here, account for something and mean something. And that when we say that we are the primary economic engine…that we take those words seriously,” she said.

King-Hinds underscored the importance for CPA to work hand in hand with partners such as the Marianas Visitors Authority and the airline industry to be able to accomplish the goals and objectives of CPA’s mission.

The other directors present at the meeting were Ramon Tebuteb, Thomas Villagomez, and Roman T. Tudela Sr.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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