Emergency Yona mayor bill vetoed; Governor proposes alternative

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The amended emergency legislation lawmakers spent last Friday and Saturday working out has been vetoed by Governor Lou Leon Guerrero.

The bill proposed allowing the newly appointed Yona Municipal Planning Council to name an acting mayor in that village to replace jailed Mayor Jesse Blas, without the need for a recall election, and subject to legislative approval.

On Saturday, just as senators were getting ready to vote on the bill, their legal counsel, Ana Maria Won Pat  Borja, raised concern about whether allowing the planning council to appoint an acting mayor would usurp the governor’s appointment authority in violation of the Organic Act.

Senators went ahead and unanimously passed Bill 259 anyway.

However, in her veto message to Guam lawmakers, the governor wrote that she agreed with the legislative legal counsel.

“There are provisions of this bill that encroach upon the core functions of the Executive Branch” and “I am NOT willing to sign any legislation into law that compromises the delicate balance between the three branches of government.”

“While I understand the desire to do the right thing, the right thing must be done the right way. That is the central reason for this veto,” wrote the governor.

Instead, the governor submitted an alternate bill for consideration that would allow her, as governor to appoint an acting mayor.

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