In case your are unfamiliar with this group, Wespac is the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council in charge of policy for the management of fisheries in the EEZ around American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, the Northern Mariana Islands and US Pacific island possessions. Funny things are going on at Wespac. According the Honolulu weekly...
Under Kitty M. Simonds, executive director of Wespac, the council's budget has grown to the point where it receives nearly 25 percent ($5 million) of all federal funds dedicated to federal fishery management councils ($20 million), even though the value of fish caught under Wespac's management is worth only 2 percent ($68 million) of the entire U.S. total catch ($3.2 billion). Simonds also proposed an increase of Wespac's annual spending of about 25 percent throughout the rest of the decade, even though the fisheries under Wespac's management have been shrinking.
Kitty is also getting paid well. Her current salary exceeds her bosses at the Secretary of Commerce and NOAA. She is currently the fifth highest paid official in the US government. Thats right after President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Chief Justice Roberts, and House Speaker Pelosi! ??? By 2009, Simonds salary will grow to $220,000, and will be second only to the president. Simonds's salary also includes "profit-sharing" bonuses depsite her agency being a NONPROFIT.
The break down:
- President George Bush @ $400,000
- Vice President Dick Cheney @ $208,100
- Chief Justice John Roberts @ $208,100
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi @ $208,100
- Kitty Simonds @ $187, 469 (scheduled to increase to $220,000 by 2009)
Kitty is a she, and she is a piece of work deserving of some scrutiny. Don't link the PapahÄnaumokuÄkea Marine National Monument to this problem, however, Kitty and Wespac were deeply opposed to the reserve for many years. The reserve is a good thing.
Oops, thanks for the catch and comments. Still you have to find it a bit odd that Bush admin favored such a move.
Has Simonds been seen out in public with Paul Wolfowitz?