Governor reaches common ground with legislature
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 00:55
by Therese Hart | Variety News Staff
SENATORS were generally pleased with Gov. Felix Camacho’s last state of the island address.
“I liked some of the stuff I heard,” said Sen. Ben Pangelinan. “I think some of it was a little late. I think that we needed to have this kind of conviction and strength in the military buildup when we were doing the scoping meetings three/four years ago, but I liked what I heard today. In that respect, I’m finally glad he woke up to that issue.
Speaker Judi Won Pat was glad the governor included the elements contained in Resolution 275. “More importantly,” Won Pat said, “he acknowledged that we don’t want the dredging of Apra Harbor; the impact to our environment; the issues regarding the firing range and his stance on land taking was good.”
Senator Tina Muna Barnes welcomed the governor’s statement about the federal government’s fiscal obligation to Guam. “What’s important is that we’re not asking for that aid, we’re demanding and the federal government must fund the buildup if it wants the community of Guam to work harmoniously together,” she said.
“There was one component that he did not touch on and that is working closely with the mayors and the empowerment of these village level leaders because they continue to be the heartbeat of the community; he forgot to mention them,” Barnes added.
Senator Telo Taitague said she was touched by the emotions that came with Camacho’s reference to his family. “He did a great job. The fact that his family was right behind him encouraging him to do things for our people all these years; it was very touching. That moment of thankfulness to his family; it was a good thing.”
However, the comment about the military buildup left much to be desired, she said. “What are we going to do at this point? When he mentioned that he wanted to delay the buildup. I don’t think delay was what we were looking for from him and I’m a bit concerned about that.”
Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo supports the governor’s proposal to revert the island’s name to Guahan.
Supreme Court of Guam Chief Justice Robert Torres said of the governor’s speech was “very well delivered.”
“There were two points I think were important that people can’t overlook,” Torre said. “One very obvious one is the return of the traditional name of Guahan which is being more customarily used anyways. I don’t think it’s going to be too much of a leap to get there.”
“The other important topic was the reunification with the Northern Marianas. I’ve had discussions with constitutional scholars about a reunification plan that would preserve local governance in the respective jurisdictions; I think there are ways that can be accomplished and I think it’s something that we as a people need to look at because I think that our political relationship with the United States should be evaluated and looked at as one Marianas,” said Torres.