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ODAPM boss says he ‘deserves’ a $5,000 increase

Alfonso Pete Galea’i testifying Tuesday

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Office of Disaster Assistance & Petroleum Management (ODAPM) director Alfonso Pete Galea’i testified Tuesday before the Fono Joint Budget Committee for his agency’s FY 2020 budget of $5.79 million, which includes the Office of Petroleum Management and the American Samoa Disaster Assistance Office.

According to the budget document, Galea’i’s current salary is $75,000 — which is the same amount for proposed FY 2020.

Sen. Tuaolo Manaia Fruean asked what Galea’i’s current salary is, to which the director said, $65,000.

“So for FY 2020, it’s an increase of $10,000” up to $75,000? Tuaolo asked.

Galea’i responded that the current salary listed in the budget document is incorrect, saying that since 2013, he has been getting $65,000 annually but the “proposed” salary for FY 2020 is $70,000 — a $5,000 increase.

After serving in the position for 7 years, Galea’i said, “I deserve a $5,000 increase” in pay.

ODAPM is involved in a lot of federal grants through the US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) — totaling $1.24 million, according to the budget document, which also shows that the balance — or $4.55 million — comes through local revenue sources such as the base-terminal fee; supplemental rent and terminal fees, including tanker truck replacement.