Leon Guerrero, Tenorio meet with Rev & Tax team

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Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio meet with employees of the Department of Revenue and Taxation on Tuesday.

Guam – Wasting no time to check the books, Lou and Josh made their way straight to accounts receivable after a flag-raising ceremony at Adelup on Tuesday morning. The new governor and lieutenant governor tallied up stop number one on the manifest in their mission to whip GovGuam’s finances into tip top shape.

It’s called MBWA—management by walking around—for a firsthand look at the lay of the land. The first agency stop for freshly inaugurated Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and her Lieutenant Governor Josh Tenorio was Dept. of Revenue and Taxation headquarters in Barrigada on the duo’s first full day in office.

And the reception was decidedly warm, as Lou and Josh were all hugs, kisses, and handshakes between informal interviews with the various divisions of Rev & Tax.

Following an inaugural speech in which she emphasized the need to be responsible with the people’s money on Monday night, Pacific News Center asked Gov. Leon Guerrero whether Tuesday’s visit to Rev & Tax was symbolic.

“Absolutely, but most of all, this is my first stop because, you know, money drives the ability for us to service our community,” Leon Guerrero said.

For how else but reliable and efficient assessment and collection will GovGuam pay for the health, education, and safety of a community that is hurting for all three?

Maybe that’s why “Finances” is the first area of concentration mentioned in Lou & Josh’s gubernatorial platform–and why financial reform; paying off the debt; tax enforcement and recovery; and maximizing federal grants remain priority one for this freshly minted administration.

But in order to get there, Rev & Tax will need to safeguard and optimize the proper tools and personnel, not only to meet its own mandate, but also to stay the course set by Gov. Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio.

“When we say that collections is our priority, that really we invest our resources in collections, and that means, perhaps, more hiring,” Rev & Tax Director Dafne Shimizu said, immediately following the tour.

“And that means also making sure that, when we do hire, that we have spaces for the people, we also have equipment for our people, so they can do what they need to do.”

Shimizu said Rev & Tax employs between 170 and 180 people, but that she would need a little more time to measure personnel requirements before setting a hiring quota at the department. For now, Lt. Gov. Tenorio is pleased with the administration’s top picks to lead the agency: Shimizu and Deputy Director Michele Santos.

“Actually, the tour made me feel even much more confident in our appointees, here,” Tenorio said.

“I think that Dafne Shimizu and Mikki Santos have the experience, the qualifications, and the leadership necessary to move this organization forward to make it a high-functioning organization. The staff is there. One thing that kept coming up when we were talking to all of the employees is that they have a lot of ideas to improve the processes. And it seems, I think, we’re gonna have a good working dynamic down here.”