Guam- The Programmatic Agreement was signed this hour. Lynda Aguon, State Historic Preservation Officer, signed the agreement following intense negotiations between the administration and the Navy, which led to historic concessions.
Aguon signed the document after the Navy made concessions removing Pagat village and caves from the Route 15 firing range Surface Danger Zone. Aguon’s signature is one of four required for the agreement to take place. Aguon’s signature makes the agreement legally binding.
“Lynda Aguon is a courageous woman, who had to withstand a lot of public criticism and pressure following two years of uncertainty and a lack of administrative support,” Governor Eddie Baza Calvo said. “Today, we opened a new and exciting chapter for all Guamanians.”
“Many different groups put a lot of pressure on her, but at the end of the day, she acted professionally, did what was right and she followed her conscience,” Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio said.
This milestone is both historically significant and critical to the island economy. Approximately $1 billion in projects and bids for projects now can begin.
“There are a lot of people living in poverty, struggling to pay their bills, and looking for a good job,” Governor Calvo said. “I want to see this money flow into our economy quickly and help all Guamanians.”
Today’s historic event is the result of efforts that started before Governor Calvo and Lt. Governor Tenorio took office. All along the way, the Calvo Tenorio administration made it a point to cooperate and collaborate with as many stakeholders willing, resulting in the strong “Team Guam” approach that will ensure this buildup is the
1. In their campaign for governor and lieutenant governor, then-Senators Calvo and Tenorio promised not to sell Pagat, the ancient and historic village near the proposed Route 15 firing range.
2. On December 1, 2010, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, visited then Governor-elect Calvo and Lt. Governor-elect Tenorio to discuss the military buildup and the Programmatic Agreement. Then Governor-elect Calvo repeated his stance that the federal footprint should not increase and that Pagat village cannot be part of the firing range.
3. The Twenty-ninth, Thirtieth and Thirty-first Guam Legislatures vehemently opposed any plans that will disrupt Guam’s historic sites, or destroy culturally-significant artifacts.
4. It was for this reason Senator Ben Pangelinan in January and Senator Rory Respicio on February 8, 2011, during the confirmation hearing for Pete Calvo, asked him to ensure Governor Calvo designates Lynda Aguon, the Guam Historic Preservation Officer at the DPR, as the SHPO. Aguon’s tenure at the GHPO is known for her staunch protection of historic and cultural sites and artifacts.
5. Governor Calvo, understanding Aguon’s passion to protect these sites and artifacts and the unprecedented negotiations regarding Pagat village, designated Aguon as the SHPO on February 15, 2011.
6. Arthur Clark, Governor’s Chief Policy Advisor, began working with Aguon and negotiating Guam’s position with the Navy upon the assumption of the Calvo Tenorio administration.
7. The talks led to a January 20, 2011 visit by and round of negotiations with Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work, who was accompanied by Assistant Secretary Pfannenstiel. During those negotiations, the Navy conceded 24/7 access to Pagat village, the shrinking of the federal footprint by the end of the buildup, and a “One Guam” and a “Green Guam” approach to military activities. Under Secretary Work said the Navy concedes these four pillars as a start to negotiations through the authority of Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III.
8. Legislative leadership, along with We Are Guahan, criticized the concessions, saying the promises, especially on Pagat village, needed to be seen in writing.
9. Governor Calvo on January 26, 2011 spoke before the Chamber of Commerce, agreeing with the critics and saying he is working on getting the promises in writing; the 24/7 Pagat village concession in the Programmatic Agreement, and the other promises in parallel correspondence.
10. Clark and Aguon continued their negotiations with the Navy, demanding new language in the Programmatic Agreement not only granting unfettered access, but ensuring that Pagat village and caves, the area near the proposed firing range with significant historic and cultural value, would be excluded from the footprint of any potential firing range.
11. On February 17, the Navy released another draft, which included the promise of 24/7 access to Pagat village and caves, and exclusion from the firing range footprint and retention by the government of Guam.
12. Simultaneous to their negotiations on Pagat village, Clark and Aguon also demanded full funding of a cultural artifacts repository. This, too, was included in the February 17 draft Programmatic Agreement.
13. We Are Guahan and members of the legislature expressed their dissatisfaction with the draft, saying as long as Pagat village is within the firing range’s Surface Danger Zone (the area where projectiles may fly through or fall), the agreement still is unacceptable.
14. On March 3, 2011, Clark held another round of negotiations with Defense officials while in Washington, D.C., to have Pagat village and caves removed from the Surface Danger Zone.
15. Today, March 9, 2011, the Navy sent back the draft Programmatic Agreement, with every concession demanded by Guam included in it.