Guam – Once a chief, always a chief. Former two-term Chief Executive of the island of Guam Carl Gutierrez has just been named Chief Advisor on Economic Development and National and International Affairs. And now he will serve at the pleasure of Governor Lou Leon Guerrero, as chief of a different kind.
Through his decades in the legislature and eight years as Governor, Carl Gutierrez has always engendered fierce loyalty from his ardent supporters.
So it came as little surprise when his quiet entrance onto Lou & Josh’s gubernatorial inauguration stage was met with thunderous applause on Monday.
After all, any candidate for governor whom Carl Gutierrez gets behind is a likely winner. And that’s just what happened when Carl stumped for Lou and Josh after losing his own bid for governor in the primaries last August.
This week a new administration celebrated the ascendancy of Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Governor Joshua Tenorio—thanks in part to the thousands of votes Gutierrez swung their way in the general election last November.
Anyone carrying that much weight in an election is inclined to have the connections and the know-how to achieve other resounding feats of fancy, as well.
So when former Governor Gutierrez showed up on K57’s doorstep this morning to announce his gubernatorial appointment to a high-profile position within the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration, the speculation ended and the excitement started all over again.
“Is this a created position?” Newstalk K57 morning host Patti Arroyo asked the new appointee.
“Yes, it is. The job that I was to perform is all incorporated in that. And so that when you go to Asia, particularly Asia for economic development, you gotta be able to carry a portfolio to be able to convince people that you’re carrying the word of the governor and the lieutenant governor of Guam.
“And that’s my procedure. So I have authority to be able to speak on behalf of the governor and lieutenant governor and bring the information back to the governor and to be able to explain to them what’s going on. And I’m so happy that, as chief advisors, the three of us, report directly to the governor.”
Gutierrez will also be working closely with Chief Advisor on Fiscal Discipline & Economic Growth Bertha Duenas and Chief Advisor on Military & Regional Affairs and Compact Impact Carlotta Leon Guerrero.
And while he will certainly be attracting new investors to Guam in due course, Gutierrez wants the island to be in tiptop shape for homegrown entrepreneurs before bringing guests in for a look.
“Well, not only enticing [foreign] investments, but for the local businesses, as well, that want to be able to expand or do more of their own inviting people here,” Gutierrez told Arroyo.
“You take care of your infrastructure here first before you start inviting people in–and have them go through the weeds to find out how it’s gonna be.”
During his tenure, Chief Advisor Gutierrez plans to streamline the permitting process, to analyze laws deemed bad for business, and to recommend more business-friendly legislation. Also, businesspeople can expect the return of the Gutierrez Administration’s efficient One-Stop business licensing and permitting center.
Meanwhile, at the national level, Gutierrez is already aiming at the highest levels of the US government to bring fundamental changes to the way Guam influences—and is influenced by—national legislation. Gutierrez reflects on an unrequited attempt he made to do just that when he was still governor.
“I proposed to President Clinton and he accepted—it’s called a federal commission—and we sat down in the Oval Office, and I said I’d just like to see, you know, forget about the Commonwealth action status. Let’s first get into some meaningful participation in the way that the laws are written in the United States that govern the lives of Guam. And he said, ‘how is that, Governor?’ I said let’s do a federal commission.”
So now, as Chief Advisor, Gutierrez will focus his energies on tying up the big-picture loose ends he ran out of time to knot up as Maga Lahi—while helping Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Governor Josh Tenorio make Guam a better place to live, work, play—and invest!