Guam – Governor Eddie Calvo had some harsh words for Attorney General Lenny Rapadas today concerning the delay in getting the lease agreement signed for the CoreTech facilities in Tiyan currently used by Untalan Middle School and Guahan Academy Charter School.
“You know there’s only one Governor there’s not two Governors,” Calvo said during a press conference in his Chambers this afternoon. “We move forward in the negotiation of this lease and you know (if) the Attorney General would like to renegotiate the lease then maybe he should run for Governor.”
The new agreement currently under review at the Attonrey General’s Office would exercise the lease to own option for the Tiyan campus currently occupied by Untalan Middle School and expands the Government’s footprint to include the two buildings currently used by Guahan Academy Charter School as well as space for DOE’s central office. The campus currently used by UMS has been proposed as a site for a new central high school after UMS moves back to Barrigada.
“The clock is ticking,” Calvo said of the December 31st deadline to exercise the lease to own option. “This is not something that just popped up this last week when the media got ahold of it this is something that we have been working diligently on since August. And of course it needs the signature of the Attorney General and it to this point has not occurred.”
While the Governor’s Office submitted the lease to AG Rapadas in August, AGO Spokesperson Carlina Charfauros last week told PNC that the delay is due to concerns about the agreement raised by the Bureau of Budget and Management Resources. Calvo however says the AGO shouldn’t be concerned with matters of policy.
“The responsibility for an Attorney General’s Office is to look at that contract. Look at it through legality and form and if its legal and the form is correct stamp put their stamp of approval,” Calvo said. “Its not an issue of policy the Attorney General does not focus on policy.”
But the AG isn’t the only one voicing concerns about the lease. Senator Ben Pangelinan was critical of the current lease agreement when UMS moved to Tiyan in January of 2012.
Yet Calvo maintains that the Tiyan facilities are a wise purchase, saying the Department of Education can’t wait 18 to 24 months for a new school to be built when George Washington High School is already overcrowded.
“We could acquire property we could try to find financing to build a new George Washington High School but obviously that’s gonna be a little more time,” the Governor said.
PNC was unable to obtain a copy of the lease agreement since it is still considered a draft under review, but according to PNC files from January 2012 CoreTech receives $5.1 Million in tax credits each year for the use of the facility. While the purchase price was listed at $43.5 Million in January of 2012, Pangilinan estimated the lease-to-own option at that time to cost $125 Million overall.
Spokesperson for the AGO Carlina Charfauros issued a press release late this afternoon in response to the Governor’s statements saying the AGO is not getting involved in matters of policy or business making. Rather the release states that issues of form and legality also include the review of liability and statutory compliance issues. According to the release the AGO is currently waiting for responses and documents from relevant agencies that are necesarry to complete the review of the agreement and cannot discuss the matters because they are confidential and involve attorney-client communication.