Governor Lolo Moliga again blasted challengers Faoa Aitofele Sunia and Larry Sanitoa for statements they’re made on the campaign trail concerning the American Samoa Economic Development Authority bonds.
Lolo charged that the government had turned a blind eye and deaf ear to mounting debts to local residents, businesses and the federal government and when their administration took office they did not continue to neglect ASG’s obligations.
One of the first expenditures of the first bond series that was sold went to settle old court judgments against the government as well as cases which were settled out of court.
The governor made special mention of a suit by a child who was 11 when his mother was killed in the landslide in Fagatogo in 2003.
The payment in the suit was $46,000.
Lolo said though this was not enough money to compensate the now 19 year-old for the loss of his mother, its of some assistance in taking care of him.
He said the former government spent money recklessly on other less important things but at this money went to improving the life of this motherless child.
The governor said ASG’s debts when they took office amounted to $75 million and they consulted the Fono on what to do to pay debts to residents, businesses and the federal government.
The result was to float bonds through legislation as was done by Governor Lutali for construction of the Executive Office Building.
Lolo said the roads were in such a bad state, heavy riddled with deep potholes and people complained heavily about the roads
He said the bonds was a way to bring in new money to fix the roads.
Similarly the bonds resolved ASG’s unpaid utility bill of $8 million with the American Samoa Power Authority.
Lolo added that 19 schools were ready to be condemned by Public Health because of unsanitary conditions.
He also cited the purchase of the new boat for Manu’a and relocation of fuel tanks at the airport, a project which he said the feds had been telling the local government to do for safety reasons.
The governor took a jab at Lt. Governor candidate Larry Sanitoa questioning why he didn’t raise concerns when the bill authorizing the bonds was reviewed by the Fono, but waited till “he was behind his computer then complain.”
Lolo said, “Real leaders face each other when times are difficult. They speak out and express their true opinions, they don’t read from a piece of paper. “
He added, “We don’t need readers who read books. We need leaders with experience, knowledge , and a humble heart. “
KHJ News reported that during discussion of the bill authorizing the bonds in the House, Sanitoa was very vocal about the need to thoroughly review the bill and for the government to provide revenue reports to substantiate repayment of the bonds.