Port board approves interim budget - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Port board approves interim budget

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by Jolene Toves

Guam - Port Authority of Guam general manager Joanne Brown was hopeful that the board would pass the FY2014 budget however that did not happen today.

"Well I know the two deputies very much wanted to see the budget passed today because beginning the fiscal year in order has a lot of benefit to it but certainly at the end of the day it's your call in terms of your comfort level with regards to the budget we can accommodate if those issues or concerns or the time needed for review can happen sooner maybe next week we would be happy to sit down and go over those issues and hopefully generate a final budget the board members are comfortable with," she said.

Instead the board opted to approve an interim budget that would allow the port to operate off of the FY2013 budget for one month which raised concerns as time is of the essence not only for FY2014 but also for the terms of existing board members. "The time lines left for the remaining board members here we just want to make sure we still have a legal board so that the board can act and not be left in a situation where we do not have adequate authorization to operate for the upcoming fiscal year," she said.

The board received the proposed FY14 budget September 7th and received the revisions to that budget just two days ago, leaving reservations with board members such as vice chair Christine Baleto. Meanwhile Brown wanted to clarify that the port is not only operating within their resources but also with a decreased staff capacity and with that stressed that it is not the port's intent to ram rod the budget for anyone as the vice chair suggested.

"What you need to be mindful of moving forward because of the timelines available to us we just want to make sure that we have some sense of continuity and stability because right now in the near future we will not have a board that we can operate," she said.

Under the approved interim budget the port must direct funding from the current fiscal year starting October 1st to allow the port to continue operations until the board has the opportunity to approve the FY2014 budget. This leaves the port not only with limited funding but also does not allow them to be able to hire critical personnel as appropriated for in the proposed FY2014 budget. 

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