Sept. 5, 2002 – Sen. Carlton Dowe has put Gov. Charles W. Turnbull on notice that, as chair of the Senate Rules Committee, Dowe does not intend to take up Noreen Michael's nomination to become the permanent commissioner of Education without proof that the Education Department has complied with legislation enacted in June relating to site-based schools management.
Turnbull submitted Michael's nomination to the Legislature on Aug. 30. Michael has been serving as acting commissioner since April, when the governor fired Ruby Simmonds from the position shortly after the territory's appeal of the loss of accreditation for three high schools was rejected. The nomination requires approval by the Legislature.
In a letter to the governor this week, Dowe said, "It is imperative that your administration comply with certain provision of Act 6533." He cited the provisions:
– An increase in the base level of the Education Initiative Fund to $50,000 from $10,000.
– Assignment of a fiscal officer to each junior and senior high school.
– Establishment of a substitute teacher pool and provision for school principals to pay the substitute teachers directly.
Further, Dowe told Turnbull, he wants his committee to consider nominees for the Board of Land Use Appeals at the same time it deal with Michael's nomination. The nine-member board has two members whose terms are current. The other seats are either vacant or being occupied by individuals whose terms have expired.
"There are a number of capital projects stalled before the board," Dowe told Turnbull, because of its "inability to muster a quorum." He said these capital projects are needed to generate revenues, including funding for the Education Department.
Dowe said he hopes to hold a Rules hearing on nominations this month. He sent the necessary interview forms to Michael this week. The governor as yet has sent no nominees for the Board of Land Use Appeals.
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