The outgoing president of the Fiscal Oversight Board (JSF), José B. Carrión, admitted this Wednesday that he is leaving his position in the body created four years ago by Congress frustrated by the unwillingness of the local political class to promote the reforms that Puerto Rico needs.
The frustration, however, also comes from the federal side, where according to Carrión, the constant change of officials in Washington required that the JSF be constantly in a dynamic of " educate "about Puerto Rico in the federal capital.
As El Nuevo Día anticipated, Carrión also revealed that a third member of the JSF is considering announcing his departure in the coming weeks.
" There is politics there (in Washington) also and I confess to you that, at times, it was extremely frustrating to have to continually educate personnel from both branches (of government) because 'turnover' was a constant thing and the issue of Puerto Rico, as it is not the ma logically. There is so much going on and it is a topic that for some is frustrating and it is a difficult topic. It has been frustrating, in some cases, we received support for our initiatives from sectors in Congress and the Executive, but as everything was not uniform … obviously, I would have liked to have had a little more support from both branches, "he said. Carrión.
"We could not bring this matter forward," Carrión said, referring to the structural reforms established in the fiscal plans certified by the JSF and that the government should have implemented.
"The reality is that it will depend on our elected officials. carry out structural reforms to remove Puerto Rico from federal dependency and direct it to economic development regardless of the path we choose in terms of status, which I know is what divides all Puerto Ricans "commented the businessman from insurance at a press conference.
Carrión made his remarks at a press conference after concluding the virtual public meeting where he announced his resignation.
Once Carri ón announced his resignation, the former president of the Government Development Bank (GDB), Carlos M. García, did the same.
Carrión would leave office on October 5 and García would do the same on August 31, unless that President Donald Trump names his successors before the dates set by both executives.
The insurance businessman leaves the JSF after having completed his three-year term on August 31, 2019 and having continued in the position until the present.
After announcing their respective resignations, executive David Skeel praised Carrión y García's management within the JSF, noting that both executives dedicated – without receiving any pay – hundreds of hours to find solutions to the situation in Puerto Rico.
Skeel maintained that Carrión and García's contribution to the work of the JSF will be irreplaceable and added that when time passes and Puerto Rico manages to get ahead, the work of these in that commission.
“It has been a pleasure working with Carrión and García. For more than four years, without receiving pay and often under unfair criticism, they have been hardworking, intelligent and, above all, honorable, always working for the prosperity of the people of Puerto Rico in the long term, ”said the director. Andrew Biggs through his Twitter account.
Vacancies for the positions recommended by former congressman and Speaker Ryan
Considering Promise, the determination of Carrión y García assumes that the positions of the JSF under the Category A would be vacant.
When Promesa was approved in 2016, it was legislated that the two majority and minority leaders in Congress and the Senate would have the opportunity to elect two directors, respectively, to form the JSF.  In 2016, Democrat Nancy Pelosi would have nominated Ana Matosantos and former Judge Arthur González from her position as minority leader in Congress.
Now, considering that Pelosi is the majority leader in The federal lower house would touch the Democrat from California's 12th district a new opportunity to recommend a new shortlist to occupy managerial positions under Category A, according to Promesa.
The insurance entrepreneur, who was appointed to the JSF in August 2016, on the recommendation of the then speaker of Congress, Paul Ryan, announced his departure from office, causing immediate reaction from politicians and union leaders.
During the session, where he offered a summary of the budget for fiscal year 2021 and certified last night by the JSF, Carrión described as achievements having restructured part of the government's public debt and the hiring of a private operator for the electricity grid.
Commenting on the hiring of LUMA, Carrión maintained that, from the beginning , the board had "an interest" in changing the management of the island's electrical system because it understood that improving said infrastructure is key to ensuring that the cost of electricity pe to retain companies that already operate on the island and attract new investors.
In this sense, and highlighting that the government and the JSF were "aligned" in obtaining a private operator for a large part of PREPA, he proposed that counting With an operator that gives stability to the management of the electrical system, it will play in Puerto Rico's favor economically. Especially, when the United States designs public policies aimed at relocating those medical device or drug operations found in Asia to American soil as part of a new logistics strategy to ensure the supply of these products in the United States.
" We see it as a new beginning, "Carrión said, adding that it cannot be concluded that the hiring of LUMA Energy will result in an automatic increase in the rate paid by subscribers.
According to Carrión, ultimately, it will be the Bureau of Puerto Rico Energy (NEPR), the agency that will inspect LUMA Energy and will determine how much the subscribers will pay on their electricity bill.