Mayors seek higher budget

Mayors' Council of Guam Executive Director Angel Sablan and MCOG president Melissa Savares, shown at the Legislature in this file photo, are temporarily taking charge of the Yona mayor's office.

The Mayors’ Council of Guam presented a budget request of around $13.8 million for fiscal year 2020, which is $1.2 million more than their 2019 appropriation.

MCOG executive director Angel Sablan and Dededo Mayor Melissa Savares presented the council’s budget request during a hearing Friday morning at the Legislature.

Sablan said personnel costs is at the top of the list with a request of $7.19 million for salaries and $2.6 million for benefits.

Another big ticket item is an appropriation for $240,000 for the repair and renovation of the 12 senior centers being managed by the council.

Sablan outlined the list of offices, centers, and other facilities that are currently under the council’s purview.

“There are 19 district offices, 13 community centers, 8 gymnasiums, 12 senior centers, 3 dementia centers and a multitude of recreational facilities, basketball, baseball, softball, football, and a number of park facilities under the jurisdiction of the mayors’ council or the village mayors,” Sablan said.

Sablan also mentioned several continuing priorities for FY 2020, including streets maintenance and beautification, school ground maintenance, and public safety and social education programs

“The public safety and social education program, with a funding of $416,860 as approved in the FY2019 is again requested in 2020. An equal amount of $20,000 is allocated to the different districts to support programs that reduce underage drinking, support traffic safety requirement, reduce drug-related violence, and to support organized sports programs to substance abuse programs,” Sablan said.

He added: “The Islandwide Village Beautification projects funding of $470,921 as approved in FY2018 is also requested in 2020. An equal amount of $24,785 is allocated to each of the 19 districts. These funds are used for maintenance and repair of recreational facilities and beautifying these facilities.”

The council also requested the Legislature to include a provision in the Budget Act to allow them to carry over all of their unexpended lapsed funds from fiscal year 2019.