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GSWA board seeks greater autonomy

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The Guam Solid Waste Authority's board of directors is seeking greater autonomy and is asking District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood for the transition from the federal receiver to the board be accelerated. Following up on instructions from the court, the board wrote a letter Friday to Tydingco Gatewood, outlining their concerns with federal receiver Gershman, Brickner & Bratton.

Specifically, the GSWA board stressed four key issues they would like the judge to intervene and provide resolution

1- The GSWA board is requesting authority to start the search immediately to hire a general manager to take advantage of the vast knowledge the receiver has in solid waste operations. The board notes that according to GBB's timeline the GM would be hired long after their gone.

2 - The GSWA board is asking the federal judge to have the authority to take a real oversight role in parts of the agency's routine operations under contract which include the Layon landfill operations.

3 - The GSWA board would like to start the search for a chief financial officer immediately.  The board believes it would be in the agency's best interest to control its finances in-house. By hiring a CFO it will allow the agency to start the process of working with the Department of Administration to gather data and prepare financial statements in a timely manner. According to the letter to the judge the need for a CFO is highlighted by the board's understanding that the agency is operating at a loss.

4 - And finally the GSWA board is urging District Court Judge Gatewood to compel the receiver to issue the legal services request for proposal and to allow the board to control the legal services contract. According to the board's letter they approved the RFP for legal services seven months ago but believes the receiver is stalling the process. The GSWA board says they have been prejudiced by the delay.

The letter was signed by the five GSWA board members: Andrew Gayle, Jon Denight, Joseph Duenas, Alexandra Taitano and Elyze Iriarte.

Just today the chief judge issued an order for the receiver and the government to respond and file additional briefs to the concerns raised by the GSWA board. She says their concerns will be addressed during the next quarterly status hearing scheduled for May 21, that is unless the judge determines the issues warrant an earlier hearing.

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