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Utilities commission takes oath of office

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 by Jolene Toves

Guam - The members of the Consolidated Commission on Utilities took their oath of office this morning. Newly elected commissioners are former senators Francis Santos and George Bamba. Simon Sanchez was also re-elected to serve another term on the CCU.

The three were sworn-in at the new Gloria B. Nelson Public Service Building in Fidian where Thursday morning the two newly elected commissioners shared their eagerness to get the ball rolling on issues they believe to be priorities for the utilities.

Bamba believes it is critical that we make the right decisions and avail ourselves of all options that are available to reduce the cost of power and create balance in the utilities, telling KUAM News, "I would like to increase the amount of renewable that Guam Power Authority has they set aside and put a maximum limit of 25% I would like to see that increase. But I like to also see more independent power producers which creates an industry and then they would supply the power to GPA, and GPA would distribute it through its grid."

Bamba says this would place Guam at the cutting edge of renewable technology, but adds that there will be challenges.  "The biggest challenge is complying with USEPA orders and consent decrees that's going to be a challenge but you know we have to also balance it with what the people can be able to afford and not place burden on the backs of the people."

Meanwhile Santos says his priority is obtaining leadership for both the Guam Power Authority and Guam Waterworks Authority. As you may recall at this time both agencies are lacking a permanent general manager, as he said, "Right out the gates I would like to work with fellow commissioners we need to find two leaders who would manage GPA and GWA and just as important our CFO has also resigned so I am going to set my priorities with the commissioners to really focus on that to get that going."

Santos says the chief financial officer for GPA Randy Weigand tendered his resignation last week. According to GPA spokesperson Art Perez his resignation follows the acceptance of a position at the University of Guam and his last day at GPA is January 31st. Santos says his goal is to try to find general managers for both utility agencies within the next 90 days. And while the search is on for gm's this morning the CCU elected their officers who will lead the way in tackling these priorities. Taking the helm as the new CCU chairman is Joseph Duenas, with vice chairman Santos, secretary Bamba and treasurer Pedro Guerrero.  
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