Hearings on illegal dumping, honoring peace officers

Noting the cultural and economic significance of Guam’s longtime participation in the festival, Sen. Kelly Marsh-Taitano said it’s important that GovGuam is prepared and has funding set aside to support the Guam delegation’s attendance every four years when the event takes place.

Senator Kelly Marsh (Taitano) has two bills scheduled to be heard this morning. The first bill is Bill 127-35 which seeks to officially honor island peace officers while the second one is Bill 150-35, which seeks to strengthen the existing Island Beautification Task Force.

On Bill 127-35, the senator said there is a moral responsibility to recognize and honor those in the community who work hard, make countless sacrifices, and literally put their lives on the line in order to serve and protect the community.

The senator said her bill creates a permanent, official day of recognition for peace officers, many of whom have already paid the ultimate sacrifice, losing their lives or being injured in the line of duty.

She added that the bill is just administrative in nature and would not require holiday pay or otherwise impact appropriations.

On Bill 150-35, the senator said one of the bill’s main functions is to bring together agency stakeholders to create long-term plans on preventing the illegal disposal of waste at unauthorized sites and the destruction of public facilities, including at parks and beaches.

In addition, the senator said Bill 150-35 gives an overarching, government-wide responsibility to the Island Beautification Task Force so that there is a permanent, empowered body that will continuously be working toward resolving these issues that affect the beauty, appreciation, and enjoyment of the island.

The bill also provides for adding a representative from the Mayors Council of Guam to the Task Force to improve the coordination of beautification efforts on the village level.

With this broader representation and responsibility, the senator said the task force can implement many types of programs to provide for a more effective island beautification policy. This could include spreading awareness to encourage change in behaviors through the creation of a mascot and other innovations, examining whether the size requirements of dumpsters is appropriate given our modern lifestyles, encouraging recycling, and more.