Lou-Josh transition welcomes first official meeting with senior Calvo officials

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L-R: Dr. Laura Souder and Dr. Mary Okada, Co-Chairs of the Gubernatorial Transition Committee

Guam – It looks like the governor had his people call the governor-elect’s people, so they could all get together at Adelup and iron out details for a smooth transition of power. News media got a front row peek at an executive branch in flux as the incoming Leon Guerrero Tenorio Administration attempts to navigate a handoff with as few hitches as possible.

So far, so good. Whether it’s more than fair seeming may be a matter of how close one gets to the inside. But outside the small conference room at the Governor Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor’s Complex it was all handshakes, smiles, and air kisses as various subcommittee chairs of Governor-elect Lou Leon Guerrero’s 2018 Gubernatorial Transition Committee arrived to meet with senior members of the outgoing Calvo Administration.

Inside—a mystery as transition players met in august conclave, the entryway sealed to news media. But when stakeholders at last adjourned, it appeared that the transition from one governor to the next was full of hope, free of resentment, and optimistic about hiring new blood with a fresh outlook – even after a bruising campaign season that saw the defeat of Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio in the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election, just as Tenorio was winding up eight consecutive years in executive office as Gov. Eddie Calvo’s right-hand man.

“It was a very successful meeting,” Dr. Laura T. Souder told journalists gathered for the after-meeting with island news organizations.  “We have a good sense of who do we need to go to for different kinds of things if there are glitches along the way. And they provided us with an enormous amount of information in such a short period of time,” she said. Souder is Co-Chair of the GTC.

Transition Co-Chair Dr. Mary A.Y. Okada was equally optimistic about staffing the forthcoming administration with the expertise it will need to launch from an ambitious platform and tackle its vision.

Okada reminded news consumers and prospective candidates for hire that the transition team is still accepting applications for work. “We are still encouraging those that are interested in positions to submit their resume and curricula vitae and identify what their areas of strength…and perhaps where we could use their expertise, so there’s a process for all of those applications.”

Wrapping up a transition in an afternoon meeting with more than a month to go before inauguration would be a tall order with so much ground to cover. So far, PNC counts as many as nine subcommittees under the Gubernatorial Transition Committee:

Chairs & GTC Subcommittees

Sen. Tom Ada (D): Infrastructure & Transportation

Former Sen. Toni Sanford: Government Finance

Former Sen. Carlotta LG: Federal, Foreign Affairs & Military Buildup

Former Sen. Rory Respicio & Therese Arroyo Matanane: Education, Culture & Labor

Former Sen. Francis Santos & Ms. Ruth Gurusamy, RN: Healthcare & Human Services

Ms. Anita P. Arriola, Esq: Boards, Commissions & Governance

Ms. Stephanie Flores: Housing, Land & Natural Resources

Mr. Haig Huynh: Public Safety

Mr. Dan Tydingco &  Mr. Derrick Quinata: Economic Development

So just a few days after Thanksgiving there’s still plenty to be grateful for at Adelup, as the mutual emphasis of counterparts remains adamant about a smooth transition. It all goes down in a most momentous 60-day handoff from Eddie Calvo to Lou Leon Guerrero, one that’s bearing witness to two scions of the island’s most powerful business families finding common ground to keep the fires burning as the torch is passed to light the way for Guam’s first Maga Haga.

Dr. Okada said the Gubernatorial Transition Committee received transition reports from each Government of Guam agency and indicated that the subcommittees will review the reports and begin dialoguing with agency directors. Okada could not say whether any individual was being eyed for a certain leadership role or head of a department, commission, or agency.