Governor, Moylan clash over deputy director issue

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Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and Republican senator James Moylan clashed anew, this time over the issue of deputy directors.

During the recently concluded budget session, Moylan proposed an amendment (which failed) that would defund deputy directors in GovGuam.

When asked about this during her press conference last Monday, the governor said it’s totally irresponsible for a leader to just implement a blanket defunding of deputy directors.

“Let’s take public health, for example, which is in charge of the health of our 170,000 people here in Guam. Do you think one person can do all that? Look at the hospital. The hospital is our only civilian hospital that provides acute care for 170,000 people. Do you think that it’s fair to have one individual be responsible for all the work that needs to be done? Look at the Department of Revenue and Taxation that brings in millions and millions and millions of dollars … So, you know, I think Senator Moylan is doing it for headlines and sound bites. I think that’s totally irresponsible. There is no analysis. There was no thinking,” Leon Guerrero said.

In response, Moylan said he respects the reality that the Governor has the right to hire deputy directors if that is within her administration’s management plan to execute her directives.

“But I also understand that in the spirit of checks and balances when it comes to taxpayer dollars, as an elected official (and as a tax payer), I have the right to question expenditures. My belief is that the government CAN operate without Deputy Directors, as agencies should be able to determine lines of successions within their existing staffing patterns,” Moylan said.

He added: “Nothing precludes the Governor from hiring such a position, granted that it was funded by her office budget. My measure was not about needing a headliner, but about saving taxpayer dollars at a time when thousands of island residents are jobless, and hundreds of businesses are closed.”

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