Joint Region Marianas Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield expressed her belief that the Programmatic Agreement had not been breached despite the governor's assertions that it clearly has.
Guam - Govenor Calvo is defending his newfound position on the military buildup in light of critics who say he’s taken an extreme approach to the federal government.
Joint Region Marianas Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield also reacted to the governor’s statements and seemed to be unaware of the grim picture the governor painted of life outside the base.
There’s support but also some backlash in the last 24 hours since Governor Calvo boldly announced his withdrawal of support for the military buildup. Key among the reasons is the H2B crisis that has created an extreme shortage of foreign labor on Guam contributing to the start of what appears to be the island’s economic downfall.
"I've talked to many folks in the construction industry telling me that [they're] having a difficult time getting projects because [they] have no workers," noted Calvo.
Among those who disagreed with the governor’s about-face is Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo, who’s always expressed her support for the military buildup.
"I do share his frustrations as well but you just have to be patient in [Washington] D.C.," Bordallo expressed. "But banning the military, I just don’t think that’s the way to go. The military has done so much for Guam and there’s so much more to come and there’s so many people in the military on Guam. We’re very supportive of the military activities so I think there's other ways to do it but I do feel the frustration of the governor."
"I understand the congresswoman but I’ve used their methods for more than a year now. It’s time to ramp up the pressure," the governor responded. "When is it time to raise our voice? When is the the time to launch a lawsuit? When is the time to say, 'Wait a minute, you’ve breached the agreement, you’ve breached an agreement which you signed on this programmatic agreement on a 'One Guam' approach?' I ask them that question. Do we wait to go from recession or it will be in a depression?"
Meantime, Joint Region Marianas Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield says she’s aware of the governor’s concerns. But when asked to react to the governor’s statement that while the island suffers with no skilled labor outside of the base, inside the base the military’s projects continue uninterrupted.
PNC: "What are you thoughts on the governor’s statement that it’s first world inside the base and third world outside the base because of the H2B crisis?"
"Well I actually reviewed much of the govenror’s speech because I’m very interested in his very sage perceptions. I don’t recall that line of his speech. I can’t really comment on that," said Chatfield.
PNC: "Were you present at the time that he gave the speech?
"No, I wasn’t."
To be clear, here is what the governor said at the Rotary Club of Guam meeting yesterday.
"You can't have first world in there and third world outside," he said, referring to the military bases on Guam.
He reiterated those same concerns in an interview with PNC today.
"We get wind that the military bases, the timtetables are fine; there are no delays in projects. Everything is hunky dory," the governor said.
But even if she wasn’t there to hear the governor’s off-the-cuff remarks, she continued to express her belief that the four pillars as part of the "One Guam" approach remained intact.
"Well, I tell you, I was very happy to come on board with a One Guam policy in place. It’s actually a wonderful way to capture the intent of the Department of the Navy as we implement this buildup and the pillars of it I think are sound," said Chatfield.
But Governor Calvo's perspective seemed to be the exact opposite.
"What happens is when the federal government and officials break the terms of the Programmatic Agreement, break the spirit of the 'One Guam' approach for what is good inside the bases also good for outside the base, then I have to make difficult decisions. I’ve done everything I can do in a ways that are conventional in a manner through one-on-one conversations, through letters, but when no progress occurs and every day, every week, every month you have workers shrinking and you’re having this economy suffer and yet at the same time you do not see any pain inside the bases, that cannot continue on," the governor lamented.