CCU will tackle special pay raises for utility managers - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

CCU will tackle special pay raises for utility managers

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The Consolidated Commission on Utilities has scheduled a special meeting tomorrow to tackle the controversial pay raises handed-out late last year to top management at the Guam Waterworks Authority and Guam Power Authority. The increases were approved during a closed executive session, which the attorney general has said is a violation of the Open Government Law.

CCU chairman Joey Duenas says Friday's special meeting will focus specifically on the AG's opinion that the raises and bonuses for the top utility executives, which ranged from about $10,000 to $25,000, should be voided.

"This has to deal with the meeting that was held on Nov. 27, specifically the executive session that dealt with the employee evaluations and then raises that were granted," Duenas said. "Unfortunately, I erred in conducting the meeting, and I didn't make sure we didn't discuss the money part, the raises part, in the executive session."

And while Duenas takes the blame for the closed door approvals, he says there was no intent to hide anything from public scrutiny.

"If you listen to the tape, I believe, and the attorney general said he listened to the tape, we came out and said okay we're going to adopt what we talked about in the executive session, and that's the problem," Duenas said. "We shouldn't have talked about it. When you make mistakes you go back and correct them, and move forward."

The bottom line, says Duenas, is that the bonus and raises are well-deserved for managing the continued huge improvements to the systems.

"GPA is a $161 million a year business - that doesn't include the oil if you throw in the oil its $360 million to $400 million piece of business," he said. "GWA is a $110 million a year revenue business. So they're both pretty big businesses. And in addition to being big businesses - they're quite complex utilities to run."

"We know what this takes, and it takes a lot, we have to pay the people what they're worth. And we know what they're worth," she said.

He says a decision on whether to rescind or reinstate the pay raises, will not be made at the Friday special meeting.

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