21 Mar 2017
- By Junhan B. Todiño - firstname.lastname@example.org - Variety News Staff
COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corp. board member Dave Sablan Jr. says CUC is still facing difficult times “so we need someone with a strong background in engineering and finance who is also a visionary” as executive director.
Sablan said he did not support the CUC’s board request to the federal court to waive the educational background requirements for the executive director’s position.
On Feb. 22, 2017, U.S. District Judge David Carter approved a stipulation stating that the federal government does not approve but will not object to Gary Camacho’s appointment as CUC executive director.
In an earlier interview, CUC board chair Adelina Roberto said after the issuance of the stipulation approved by Judge Carter, they withdrew the job vacancy announcement for the position of the executive director.
“And we don’t need a [board] resolution,” she said, referring to the appointment of Camacho as full-time executive director.
“That’s the plan,” she added.
But Sablan said he doesn’t believe that CUC handled the announcement and review of applicants for the position correctly.
Variety was told that there were 29 applicants.
“It seems we did not give much, if any, consideration to the cost of bringing a candidate from the U.S. to live and work on Saipan full time,” Sablan said.
He said CUC expected potential candidates to accept whatever CUC would offer, though some of what was being asked by applicants was reasonable, considering the grave and difficult responsibilities of the position.
“I have a very keen idea of what it takes to run a utility, and I see that Gary may have some problems, especially if he finds it difficult to evaluate details and make the right decisions in connection with the various matters facing CUC,” Sablan said.
He added that Camacho must be able to negotiate wisely for CUC, since it is on the verge of purchasing 60 megawatts of new generating capacity.
A member of the community who declined to be identified said: “If we are going to ignore educational and experience requirements for the highest position at CUC, what message is that sending to the workforce, to potential applicants, to those who have earned their degrees through pursuing their education at significant expense, to the young students of the CNMI? Is education important or isn’t it? Getting the degree is a measure of having earned the opportunity to serve in positions that require the degree. What has Mr. Camacho done to earn getting the appointment as CUC’s executive director? Nothing other than to pander to the CUC board of directors. Not only does he lack the degree, he does not have the upper management experience. It looks like if you are buddies with those in power, anything is possible. In truth, if you look at Mr. Camacho’s history with CUC, it is far from stellar. He is being credited for something he had no involvement in. But I guess it is a done deal so we all have to live with it. I’m just disappointed at the antics and the untruths coming from the decision-makers and those who wish to lead.”
Variety was unable to get a comment from Camacho.