Mayors want someone else to take over carnival planning and operations

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The Mayors' Council of Guam is concerned that a drop in revenues for GovGuam would threaten funding that mayors rely on to support their mission.

Guam – The Mayors’ Council of Guam has decided to ask for someone else to help put together a Liberation Carnival and if no one else can assist them then they say they might only be able to put together a two-week carnival at the most.

“The law on liberation is there is a Guam island fair and a liberation day carnival. Now the mayors’ council is authorized and requested to appoint a Guam island fair committee if we want to. If we don’t want to then we are also authorized to ask any other organization civic organization to sponsor a liberation carnival,” said MCOG Executive Director Angel Sablan.

And that’s exactly what island mayors decided to do.

“It won’t be a Guam island fair it will be a liberation carnival. With members some from the first lady some from the governor’s office. And if it doesn’t happen in Paseo then another organization can do their own carnival someplace else,” said Sablan.

Mayors have been wary of holding a liberation carnival ever since lawmakers banned casino gambling and other games of chance like beto beto and the color game. Last week Mayors’ Council President Paul McDonald told PNC that that there simply is not enough interest in the carnival without those games. He said last year’s carnival was a complete failure. He did say that they could pull one off if they could just get approval for the games of chance that existed outside of the casino like beto beto and the color game. However, that has yet to happen so mayors are hoping someone else can take over.

“Now I know a lot of talk on the radio I’ve heard has been, ‘Give it to GVB. Let GVB host the liberation carnival,’” said Sablan.

If GVB decides not to do it and no one else wants to do it then the mayors are considering shortening the carnival to a couple of weeks.

“I mean we were the only ones that expanded this from 30 days to 45 days to 60 days to 70 days. So, if we don’t have the funds to operate this and we’ve already made the commitment that we are not going to accept any government funds to do liberation, we never have, and I don’t think it’s time that we do. Especially with the way the funds are in the government of Guam,” said Sablan.  “The Mayors’ Council of Guam will sponsor the queens, the pageants, the memorials, the raffle and the parade. As far as the carnival is concerned we’re going to issue out a request to different organizations to see if they want to take this on and we’ll give it up to April 30th if we don’t have any response then we’ll have to come back together again the mayors council and decide just how we take this 70 day event and cut it down to two weeks at the most.”

The mayors’ council executive director said its already too late to start the carnival in May and if no one responds by April 30th it will be too late to have one in June. Meanwhile the governor’s office has put together a committee to help organize a two-week liberation carnival.

During the meeting Sinajana Mayor Robert Hoffman said he received word from the administration that the theme for this year’s liberation festivities will be “Strengthening the Spirit of Guam”.