Guam – Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, GHURA Director Ray Topasna and Oversight Chair Sen. Amanda Shelton paid a reassuring visit to resident man’amko at Guma’ Trankilidat on Thursday to snuff out rumored plans to sell the property.
The historical compound dedicated as I tano’ para i man’amko guahan by the late governor Ricky Bordallo’s vision in the 1970s and the passage of Public Law 28-100 will be honored, officials said.
“I came here because I know that there was a big concern about a rumor that we are going to sell Guma’ Trankilidat and I just want to let you know that that is not correct,” Governor Leon Guerrero said, addressing Nepolian Canate, an 89-year-old resident of Guma’ Trankilidat.
“We are going to keep Guma’ Trankilidat. We are not going to displace any of the man’amko. The man’amko are a very dear population for our people of Guam,” she added.
The governor continued, “So I’m really sorry you lost sleep last night; this should not have happened. There has never been a discussion with me or our platform. Our platform says, and what I want to do is see how we can make more space and more accommodations for our manamko’. But I never once said nor has my administration ever said that we are gonna sell this Guma’ Trankilidat. I want you to be at peace with that.”
GHURA Director Ray Topasna defended himself on the reported rumor, calling it misinformation.
“In line with the governor’s vision, it was never GHURA’s intent to displace anyone. Some ideas and some thoughts were shared with the governing board at GHURA and some sources in the media,” Topasna said. “So unfortunately this thing kinda got blown out of proportion. What’s in the platform is the possible conversion of public housing units to home ownership. That’s what’s in the platform, not the selling of Guma Trankilidat.”
Governor Leon Guerrero then adds, “If there are going to be plans, it’s going to be about how do we make it better, how can we have things that can service our man’amko. One of the thoughts, as a nurse that I am looking at turning it, have it maybe improve it into an assisted living home where we can have health supervision so we can have medical supervision.”
Leon Guerrero said she would work with Topasna to explore any federal grants that GHURA may be able to tap into to fix or expand the 30-year-old complex.
However, she added, “No decision will be finalized without the input from community input from Guma Trankilidat.”
Reassurance from the administration gave a sense of relief to Guma’ Trankilidat residents and caregivers. “It is just like a relief to hear the word from our governor. It is really a relief that we can say Lord you take care of the rest,” said Wilma Navara, a resident for 18 years.
A caregiver to an 11-year resident said, “I believe that they should maximize this place I mean it has so much potential. But it has to be done the right way and then it cannot just be spoon-fed to one company. You have to do it where people have the option to, if they’re interested, to bid. Do it right. Do it right.”
Leon Guerrero said the administration will look into federal grants, USDA programs, opportunity zones to get developers involved in financing and leasing properties and other options beyond having to dip into GovGuam’s general fund. The underlining promise of the administration remains, “Guma Trankilidat is going to remain Guma Trankilidat.”