VIDEO: Governor’s Weekly Address: A Labor Day Message to All Guam Workers

252

Guam -The Governor pays his respects to the Guam workforce in his Weekly Address and offers some conciliatory words in an effort to put the rhetoric surrounding the current budget impasse in perspective.

SEE the Governor’s Weekly Address HERE

He begins by praising the island’s public, private and military workforces saying “today is a celebration of hard work and sacrifice … a time …  to appreciate the extraordinary things you do for Guam,” and concluding that on this Labor Day “we celebrate the labor of love that public servants, our men and women in uniform, and the private sector freely give to all of us.”

The Governor also acknowledges the current budget deadlock between his administration and the legislature saying “I know there has been much controversy surrounding your leadership and the future of your government …but I think that behind words like ‘budget battle’ and ‘balancing act,’ we lose sight.” 

But he remarks as well that the rhetoric of the debate is part of the fee speech rights of our democracy and the goals for those involved in the debate are the same. “Though we may have different opinions on what actions we need to take to get there, no one can doubt that we are all fighting for the same thing: a stronger community for future generations to celebrate their accomplishments, and to do this as a community.”

READ the Governor’s Weekly Address below or HEAR it HERE >>> 9-11 govs labor day message.mp3 Labor of Love: A Weekly Address
By Eddie Baza Calvo

Happy Labor Day my fellow Guamanians,

Today is a celebration of hard work and sacrifice. It’s a time for each of us to not only spend a day with the families we work hard for, but also a time for to appreciate the extraordinary things you do for Guam.

And that’s what you all do: Extraordinary things for an extraordinary community. Small business owners rise before the sun to open their doors just so we can get a cup of coffee to start our day. Teachers stay up late in the evening grading papers just to pass the gift of knowledge to our students. Police officers work around the clock to keep our island safe. Housekeepers, store clerks, and restaurant employees show tourists the true Hafa Adai spirit. I could go on and on.

Everyone has a role. Everyone has a seat at the table. We all have opportunities. We all have a chance to contribute. We all want to make our lives better. That is what we are all doing today.

Yesterday we were joined by our partners in the military and the private sector during the government of Guam Labor Day Picnic. Indeed it was a celebration – not just for the work we do, but it was also a celebration of our island family – one people, one Guam.

As the GovGuam workforce celebrated the good work they do, I was inspired even more about our future. I had the privilege to meet some of my fellow public servants. I met their children and grandchildren. They shared their ideas; they spoke about their love for public service. And I was even more convinced that the Guamanian Dream is already coming true today. And we can make it all happen – together.

We all work hard and do what’s best for Guam. And though we may have different opinions on what actions we need to take to get there, no one can doubt that we are all fighting for the same thing: a stronger community for future generations to celebrate their accomplishments, and to do this as a community.

My fellow Guamanians, I know there has been much controversy surrounding your leadership and the future of your government. But I think that behind words like “budget battle” and “balancing act,” we lose site of the beauty of our democratic society. We’ve forgotten that we are protected by a nation built on the fundamental principals of liberty, the freedom of speech and the right to participate in your government. This is why Ray and I, and all of our colleagues at the legislature were elected – because we are willing to fight for what we believe is the best way to help, serve and lead this community.

And as I think about where we are today, this is exactly what we are doing. I truly believe that we are all fighting for the same thing: a more responsible government that meets its obligations on time and serves the people to the best of its ability.

I am certain that every elected official – Republican and Democrat – lies awake each night as I do, worried about the decisions we have to make and how we are going to make people’s lives better. Meeting my fellow government workers, I too see their concerned about the decisions they make, and how they can work harder to improve this island.

Today we celebrate the labor of love that public servants, our men and women in uniform, and the private sector freely give to all of us. Our people are good. All of us want to do the right thing. And I’m confident your leaders will fight hard to give you all the things you deserve. That’s the beauty of Guam.

Thank you. God bless Guam. And Happy Labor Day.

Temporary Relief for Taxpayers
Governor answers senators’ call for humanitarian assistance for people struggling with bills

For Immediate Release
September 4, 2011
Residents who are in jeopardy of power or water disconnection or eviction or foreclosure from their government-leased home may soon be able to assign their tax refund to their outstanding bills.

“It’s just not right that the government that is withholding the tax refunds is the same government threatening to cut off power or water, or kick them out of their homes,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “There are all these threats about a government shutdown, but what about the real threats these struggling people are facing every day? The senators who want to keep the people’s money from them just in case the government has to deal with an emergency are ignoring the thousands of individual emergencies that our taxpayers already face every day – emergencies that this government created. Sooner or later, the legislative leadership will have to realize that the government’s day of reckoning has come.”
 
Republican senators suggested to the Governor that the administration do something to help people begging for their refunds so they can avoid eviction or utilities disconnection.

“These people need humanitarian relief right away,” Sen. Frank Blas, Jr. said. “How can this government penalize people for not paying their bills when the government has been withholding their money, their tax refunds? That’s not right.”

“They can’t wait for the legislature to pay the refunds. They need help now,” Sen. Tony Ada said.
 
The Governor’s Office is working to finalize a plan with the Department of Revenue and Taxation. The plan will allow people owed a refund to assign a portion of their tax refund to offset an overdue bill they have with a government agency, namely:
– Guam Power Authority
– Guam Waterworks Authority
– Guam Housing Corporation
– Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority
 
“We expect to give the taxpayers in immediate jeopardy a temporary reprieve.  We will use the tax refunds to repay these agencies over three months,” said the Governor.  “That is how long we expect it will take to put a tax refund bond in place.  If a bond isn’t floated by then, these taxpayers may find themselves in the same situation they are in today.”

“We really need to pay back the people much more than just 30 percent of what they are owed,” Sen. Chris Duenas said.

“I realize that for many, what they earn is not enough to cover their necessary expenses.  They simply want what’s rightfully theirs, which can help them care for their family, avoid delinquent payments or even threats of eviction.” Sen. Sam Mabini said.

“Wherever I go in the community, there are people who are worried because they don’t know how they’re going to survive in the coming days,” Sen. Mana Silva Taijeron said.

“We’re talking about families here. The compounded stress is wrong and unfair. We must do what is right – give the families their money,” Sen. Aline Yamashita said.