Guam – The legislature held a hearing on the buildup Tuesday allowing members of the administration to give a presentation on the status of the military buildup and the programmatic agreement.
The governor’s Chief Policy Advisor Arthur Clark, Department of Parks and Rec Acting Director Pete Calvo, and Guam Buildup Office Director Eddie Reyes showed up at the hearing but missing the morning session was Guam State Historic Preservation officer Lynda Aguon.
Aguon has been at the center of controversy since refusing to sign the programmatic agreement that includes Pagat as a firing range complex and since the release of a scathing transition committee report that was highly critical of Aguon referring to her as an obstructionist among other things.
“Mrs. Aguon not being here tells me two things one she is not certain of her status and or two and this is most regrettable that she is very disturbed by the contents of that transition report that was released to the public of course its a public document which really attacked her,” said Senator Judi Guthertz.
Clark replied saying, “At least to the best of my knowledge madam chair none of the party sitting here sat on that transition team so this is a team that was put together that is not reflective of the administration’s position.” Clark also said “Governor Calvo has already come out and chief of staff Frank Arriola are already quoted in the media with respect to Mrs. Aguon and first of all she was by letter designated as a SHPO on February 8th that was last week by Governor Calvo so that is an official position.”
Eventually Aguon showed up to the legislature in time for them to begin discussing the status of the programmatic agreement. “I believe there will be a revision to the December 30th draft which will be presented to the concurring parties and to the public,” said Aguon of the programmatic agreement.
Clark told lawmakers they are anticipating that this latest draft of the programmatic agreement, which will likely be released this week, should have language that allows 24/7 access to the Pagat caves and ancient Pagat village as well as giving GovGuam full ownership and control of the site by removing it from the footprint of the firing complex. However, it’s still not yet clear what exactly the military considers as the Pagat village. As you may recall PNC news hiked to Pagat over a week ago and found two other latte sites that were north of the Pagat caves and north of the latte site that is along the Pagat cave trail.
Buildup office director Eddie Reyes also reported on the funding that has been requested to help improve GovGuam services and programs that will be strained by the buildup. So far $33 million has been requested for fiscal year 2012 out of an estimated $619 million dollar need.