Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mayors Share Concerns with GAO reps

Mayors share concerns with GAO reps
by John Davis
Thursday, January 31, 2008

Earlier this morning General Accountability Office representatives Jamila Moon, Nelsie Alacusar and Mark Little met with village mayors. Many mayors want specifics and, more importantly, to be included in decisions being made that will affect all Guam residents. Many mayors echoed the same concerns of Mangilao mayor Nito Blas, who says information he's heard about the military buildup is always on a hearsay basis.

Blas confirmed that he's heard several times about development in his village, but nothing has been finalized. "Somebody was mentioning to me that they're going to cut the road from Route 4 coming from LeoPalace Route 4 into by GCC or the University of Guam area connecting to Route 15," said the municipal leader. "Somebody moving into a small road, small section of the village, building a 54 or 120 units in there because they say when the marines come, they're going to stay there."

Blas says he's concerned because according to information he's received, the military will construct their own housing on base. Other mayors, like Roke Blas of Sinajana, say they'd like to hear more information regarding how the U.S. Government is going to assist Guam when providing public services. He says right now, there is a major migration of our neighboring islanders coming into the island; although he says he welcomes all who wish to call Guam home, the community is not being given enough money to fund public services.

"Where does that put us as a local people? It pushes us back even further. Now, you know every so many months they come up with a 100 new clients that they could take care of, but maybe about 60 % of that is not from our local people," said the Sinajana mayor.

At the end of today's meeting, mayors said the best piece of information they could receive from the federal government is a military buildup master plan, showing exactly which buildup development projects are definite, so they can prepare island residents accordingly. But more importantly, they would like to see Guam included when it comes to decisions regarding the military buildup.

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