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Some American Samoa lawmakers question need for Honolulu office

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 2:00 p.m. HST, Sep 16, 2012

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa >> Some lawmakers in American Samoa are questioning the need for the territory’s office in Honolulu.

The office has a staff of four and a budget of more than $300,000. It was established more than two decades ago and is overseen by the governor. 

The governor’s Chief of Staff Pati Faiai told lawmakers it’s necessary for serving the needs of American Samoans living in Hawaii and the mainland. It also helps those seeking information on how to enter American Samoa.

Faiai says office lease, parking and utility costs are expensive in Honolulu.

According to the budget, monthly rent for the office and parking is $5,400. The office’s proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year is $349,500, a $40,000 increase from the current fiscal year. 

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