Guam – Senator Judi Guthertz says that Guam lawmakers are angry over what she calls the Federal Government’s “attempted blackmail” over the still un-signed Programmatic Agreement that will govern how archaeological and cultural sites are handling during the buildup.
In a release, the Senator refers to reports that a representative of a federal historic preservation board is pressuring GovGuam to sign off on a
“programmatic agreement” that would cover issues related to the Guam buildup including the handling of the historic Pagat Village area.
She says the Department of the Navy has given local officials a January 14 deadline to sign the agreement.
Guthertz’s release also refers to reports today [Tuesday] that members of Guam State Historic Preservation Board have been asked to submit courtesy resignations. She says the Board, which is headed by Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Aguon, has continued to resist signing the agreement as written.
Guthertz, who Chairs the Buildup Committee, is calling on Governor Calvo to make its position clear:
“I caution the Governor not to replace the Guam State Historic Officer or her board in response to these threats, which are, as far as I am concerned, no better than attempted blackmail.”
Newly appointed Department of Parks and Recreation Director Pete Calvo has said that federal officials have made it clear that the
buildup can proceed with or without the agreement. Without the agreement however, the feds are again suggesting that mitigation projects being proposed to sweeten the deal, such as a Guam cultural center, will not happen.
Senator Guthertz claims the reports have raised other issues such as whether newly inaugurated Governor Edward Calvo is prepared to yield to such pressure, given his previous support and campaign promises that Pagat will be spared from the buildup at all costs.