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Governor Seeks Input from Gubernatorial Candidates over Revitalization Coordinator

By on October 31, 2016

SAN JUAN — Gov. Alejandro García Padilla will get in touch with Puerto Rico’s gubernatorial candidates to seek their input regarding the three names recommended by Promesa’s fiscal control board, for the revitalization coordinator post.

“I will send a letter to the gubernatorial candidates with the information I have received [the recommended names], so they can give me their input,” the governor said Monday during a public event in Guayama. He added it “doesn’t mean I will act as they say.”

U.S. flag waves in front of the north wing of the Capitol of Puerto Rico after Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla gave his budget address for the next fiscal year in San Juan, Thursday, April 30, 2015. Legislators struck down a key part of a plan to overhaul the island's tax system early Thursday, raising concerns about the U.S. territory's economic future and its ability to pay off a heavy public debt. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

U.S. flag waves in front of the north wing of the Capitol of Puerto Rico (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

On Sunday night, the fiscal board announced the three candidates recommended for Promesa’s revitalization coordinator, who will be in charge of evaluating and channeling “critical infrastructure projects” for Puerto Rico, as established by the federal law. Aaron Bielenberg, Joseph Fontana and Riz Shah are the three candidates for the position, after being chosen by the board from an initial list of names.

“As soon as I am ready, I will announce it. The law gives me 10 days,” said García Padilla about his selection, adding that his administration is currently evaluating the three candidates to “see who of these people have the requirements that the law solicits and, in my discretion, can better perform the functions assigned to him by the law.”

On the other hand, the governor warned that the revitalization coordinator appointment is permanent and not interim, contrary to what the board initially suggested.

“I want to clarify a misunderstanding or mistake. It is suggested that it is an interim appointment. The law does not allow an interim appointment,” said García Padilla, adding that Promesa provides for one, permanent appointment, and that his administration had already communicated with the board to discuss the matter.

However, according to Promesa, “the Revitalization Coordinator may be removed for any reason, in the Oversight Board’s discretion.”

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